Longtime local civic volunteer James William “Jim” Bryant died Sept. 1 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 84.
A Tiburon resident since 1969, Mr. Bryant began his community service with his appointment to the Reed Union School District board of trustees in 1976.
He was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere in 1977. Because that Rotary club met during the day, he founded Rotary Club of Tiburon Sunset in 1990 to accommodate those who could only meet in the evening. He served as the club treasurer until his death.
He served as president of the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce from 2001 to 2003 and afterward remained an active volunteer for the chamber’s many activities, including its annual wine festival and, in the 1990s, the chili festival.
Both his chamber and Rotary Club activities suited his personality, as he was outgoing and jovial, those who knew him said.
“He was a fine chap and was always willing to help in any fashion that he could,” said Georgia Kirchmaier, the chamber’s former executive director.
Joanne Norman, a travel agent who served as president of Sunset Rotary in 2004, described Mr. Bryant as “loyal, kind” and “generous with his time.” She said she relied on his guidance when she became club president.
“I could count on him to help and give me information,” she said. “He’s always been available to help every president. He was so dedicated to Rotary and to making our experience extremely memorable — and he was always fun.”
Mr. Bryant was born Feb. 21, 1935, in San Diego to John and Helen Bryant. During World War II, when his father was stationed on a submarine, he lived with his family in Hawaii, Panama and Connecticut before returning to San Diego.
Mr. Bryant attended Sweetwater High School near San Diego, where he played clarinet and led the marching band as drum major. After graduating from the California Maritime Academy, where he served as yearbook photographer, he was commissioned as a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown in the engineering division.
Upon completion of service, Mr. Bryant went to work in sales for Roots-Dresser, an Ohio-based manufacturer of industrial machinery, first in San Francisco and then in the Midwest, where he met his late wife, Patricia, as a member of the Lakeshore Ski and Sports Club in Chicago.
His work brought him back to the Bay Area about 1966. He worked for King Knight Co. in Emeryville and eventually started his own company, Advanced Engineering Sales, in Tiburon, operating out of a second-floor office overlooking the courtyard at The Boardwalk Shopping Center. He retired about 10 years ago.
Mr. Bryant was a life member of the Corinthian Yacht Club and a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club since 1977.
He was a supporter of the California Maritime Academy Foundation and, with classmates Gordon White and Jack Hammerland, managed to attract several donations of yachts, which they sold to fund cadet scholarships. One of the first yacht donations he arranged was his own sailboat, Lady Jacqueline.
He was a new member of Marin Villages, whose volunteers help seniors stay active and independent.
He is survived by three children, Shannon Bryant of San Francisco, John Bryant of Bolinas and Megan Edwards of Saugus; brother John Bryant of Los Osos; two grandchildren, Ethan and Caitlin; and many nephews and nieces. His wife, Patricia, died in 1977.
Services are pending. The family suggests memorial donations to the California Maritime Academy Foundation, 200 Maritime Academy Drive, Vallejo, CA 94590-8181; or to the Rotary Club of Tiburon Sunset Foundation, P.O. Box 236, Tiburon, CA 94920; write “In memory of Jim Bryant” on the note line of the check.
Deirdre McCrohan has reported on Tiburon local government and community issues for more than 30 years. Reach her at 415-944-4634.