Jasper Bryant, Jr.
Mr. Jasper Bryant, Jr., the son of the late Mr. Jasper and Mrs. Katie Duncan Bryant, was born on May 4, 1945, in Flat Top, Alabama. One of nine children, he attended the public schools of Jefferson County, Alabama, where he excelled as an athlete and gifted student.
Exciting Formative Years
An exceptional baseball player and a member of the track team, Jasper set school records and was eventually recruited to play professional baseball upon graduation. While this opportunity was a great accomplishment, his parents insisted that he forgo the baseball career and focus on going to college. Because of his academic performance, Jasper skipped a grade and graduated from high school at age 16 to attend Daniel Payne College in Birmingham, Alabama.
Service Through Education
Jasper realized his calling as an educator early on in his college career where he majored in Social Studies. Jasper’s first teaching job was with the Dooly County Board of Education where he taught at Unadilla Elementary in Unadilla, Georgia. It was there that he met his future wife and fellow teacher, Oscar Mae Barnes. The two were married on May 5, 1972. Jasper taught for 34 years before retiring with his bride in June 2000.
Even though he was retired, his love for his students never ended as he enjoyed visiting with them whenever they came to town, sharing stories of playing Four Square, laughing as they imitated his “cool” walk and reminiscing over his creative way of teaching.
Known for being a jack of all trades, there was nothing he couldn’t repair, build or design. Jasper was also an artist and enjoyed drawing and sketching. His love or art was only rivaled by his love of music. From Jazz to Gospel, there was no genre of music that he didn’t enjoy. His video collection spans decades from Mahalia Jackson to Michael Jackson, and he enjoyed entertaining guests with concert viewings in his den.