Leon S Bryant

Passed: February 17, 2021


Leon (Serle) Bryant was born in Akron, Ohio June 22, 1949, the third child from the union Clyde H Bryant and Daisy Bryant who preceded his death.

Leon departed this life on February 17th at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He retired from ASU with over 20 years. To know him was to love him. He loved people, he was a joyous person who had a great talent for making friends with anyone.

Leon will be lovingly remembered by his fiancé Johnnie Funderburg of Dallas, Texas, brother and sister, Clyde H. and Nancy A. Bryant of Waddle, Arizona, Cynthia A.Butler of Detroit, Michigan, granddaughter Sessily Elbeck of Huston, Texas, and many nephews and nieces, etc.


My Dear Brother

I thank you with all my heart for sharing our journey growing up together

I’m grateful to have been your sister. I’m grateful that we had great laughs together.

It’s hard to believe you’ve been taken away. But, yet I’m comforted knowing how much

you loved life. I am certain you’re watching over us sending out vibes to a different

measure any though we cannot see the faith-affirming that you want us to continue

to live our life to its fullest. Again, I am grateful to have called you my brother because I know

you did your best. Until we can soar and laugh together again I will just whisper your name in

my heart. May your soul rest in peace, Praise God who loved you best!

Your loving Sister



Above and Beyond

Your heart was so full And your smile so bright. I know I’ll be dreaming of you When I fall asleep tonight. To make you laugh And hear your voice. I will miss it, but now we can rejoice. We miss you much, Although you left in a hurry You are at peace And we don’t have to worry. We promise to cry tears of joy And hold no reverie. Our hearts will always hold you And carry on your memory.

-Sessily Elbeck


A Badger Forever

Leon became a Badger shortly after moving to Tucson from Ohio in 1963. He played with us in football as a Freshman but started to show star potential on the JV team. Leon was one of only 5 Juniors to start on the 1965 undefeated football state championship team, and he was selected as first-team All-City on defense. In 1966 he was hurt for the first 2 games and did not play. Not coincidentally, we lost our only game (to Phoenix Union) in the second week. He came back and helped lead us to our second straight championship. Then he was selected first-team All-State.

Leon graduated from Arizona State University and worked for them in student services for his entire career.

Leon was a complex man capable of great humor, laughing at himself as much or more than anyone else, however, he was also capable of anger at injustices and great determination to undo them. I must publicly apologize to Leon for something I said as a 13-year-old. I knew that he was capable of much more than he was showing as a Freshman in football, so I tried to encourage him by telling him that he was a very good football player and should have been starting. Then I said not to be lazy, but I used a much worse word to convey that. Leon and I were very good friends, and he pointed the incident out to me in later years in high school. After I apologized to him privately he forgave me for my youth and

STUPIDITY! Because of his forgiveness, there was no permanent damage to our friendship. My parents welcomed him into our home, and his parents welcomed me into their home and regaled us with stories of their youth, including their courtship. Whenever I hear Edwin Starr’s 25 miles to Go, I think of them and Leon.

His passing is the end of an era in the way. All four of our first team All-Staters are now gone. Bill Dawson, Greg Leavitt, Dave Carlson, and Leon. They all live in my heart, more as great friends than as football heroes!

With Love,

Ron Curry

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4 responses to Leon S Bryant

  1. I met Leon in 2009 on social media. The last time i talked to him was sometime the end of last year. He was my friend and i loved him. He was always my go to when i was down, he always had a good word for me. I introduced him to some people that may be his family from North Carolina. We always talked about our families, he loved his family dearly including Johnnie and i was hoping so much they would get together. Im so sorry you loss this jewel. He will always be in my heart

  2. Pennie says:

    I met Leon in 2009 on social media. The last time i talked to him was around Thanksgiving I believe of 2020. He was my friend and i loved him and i know he cared about me. I came to Arizona in the year of 2019 that’s when we were to meet face to face for the very first time but I was unable to make it. We were suppose to meet this year. I actually felt like I already knew him, his family, his granddaughters, the loss of his daughter, his siblings, his mom and dad and the lady he wanted to marry Johnny.. We talked about everything. When i was down and neeeded someone to talk to he always could make me feel better. We always remembered the holidays and contacted each other. I introduced him to people here that has to be his relatives because he look so much like them and they had things in common. Eventually they were suppose to meet one day but i guess they’ll never know now. I tried to contact him into December but didnt get him. A little later on I kept calling sadden by not being able tovreach him. One morning in the middle of the morning the Lord laid on my heart to google him, I was devastated I had thought about this senario so many times. Unbelievable, my heart goes out to his family and friends I feel your pain. Leon will for ever be in my heart and always in my thoughts. May God bless and keep you.

  3. Sun Devil for life.
    Ultimate cha cha partner.

    Miss you.❤

  4. Leon, was my brother from a different mother, and father too. We met after he had transferred to ASU and I was a freshmen. We continued to be friends long after ASU and would get together to play basketball, dominoes and Bid Wist.

    There were actually five in this group. Leon, Mark Rucker, James and Tim Kelson and whoever we could find as a sixth man. Sadly they are all gone now, and I miss them something terrible.

    Michael Williams

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