AVOCA, Iowa — Wayne O. “Jake” Bryant was remembered Friday for service to his country and his county.
Bryant, 91, of Underwood, died Sunday at the Avoca nursing home. Services Friday at the Oakland United Methodist Church were followed by burial with military honors in Oaklawn Cemetery in Oakland.
Bryant served as a Pottawattamie County Board member from 1985 to 1992 — including at least one year as chairman — and as chairman of the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years during World War II.
“Wayne was a very good supervisor, as I remember, and he was very active and engaged — and he liked people and people liked him,” said Hubert Houser, who served with Bryant on the county board.
“He was so community-minded,” said Marilyn Drake, who became Pottawattamie County auditor about the time Bryant joined the board. “He worked very, very hard for the people in his town. I can remember how hard he worked to get roads fixed.”
Bryant led the effort to get County Road G-30 (also called Mahogany Road) paved from Railroad Highway to L-34, Houser said. The road runs along the northern edge of Underwood.
Bryant was also instrumental in the move of SCOLA, the foreign-language broadcast service, from the Creighton University campus to its current site on the former county farm, Houser said. The county sold the site to SCOLA for $110,000.
Bryant was a member of the United Methodist Church in Oakland, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and Ark Masonic Lodge and was a Shrine clown.
He was born in Grant, Iowa, and graduated from Villisca High School, then entered the Navy. After his discharge, he was a clerk for the Chicago Rock Island Railroad for 32 years before retiring in 1980.
Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Lovina (Kelley) Churchill Bryant of Underwood; son, Doug, of Avoca; stepchildren, Carolyn Schoening of Council Bluffs, Dick Churchill of Hopkinton, Mass., Ken Churchill of Albuquerque, N.M., and Edward Churchill of Omaha; brother, John, of Council Bluffs; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Chyrl Bryant, in 1975.