Obituary Details

Mildred Bryant

(05/05/1917 - 05/29/2012)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 06/27/2012

Mildred Crofutt Bryant

Mildred Crofutt Bryant, 95, passed away at the Ponderosa Villa Nursing Home in Crawford, Nebraska, on May 29, 2012.

Mildred was born May 5, 1917, in Ashby, Nebraska to Charles and Edith Crofutt. At the age of six weeks old, her parents loaded all their belongings on a wagon and started the several days' journey from the Sandhills east of Alliance, Nebraska to Lusk, Wyoming to build the family homestead north of Lusk, later to be known as "the place." Being the oldest of 12 siblings, Mildred carried a lot of responsibility and duties around the homestead, while attending school as well.

Mildred graduated from Lusk High School, Lusk, Wyoming, in the spring of 1934. Mildred attended college in Chadron, Nebraska in 1934, and after one year received her teaching certificate for country schools. Shortly thereafter she obtained her first teaching job in Indian Creek near the South Dakota border. In 1937, Mildred returned to Chadron for summer school to further her education.

On the morning of May 24, 1938, a fire broke out in the family home taking the lives of her mother, father, and one sister. Mildred was 21 years old at the time. This left eight siblings, ranging in age from 3 to 19 years without parents. As quoted in the Lusk Herald, "The children will carry on at the farmstead with the oldest daughter, Miss Mildred, accepting leadership of the group. This splendid attitude of holding together a family so sorrowfully stricken has earned and received the commendation of a multitude of persons with an added hope that the future may bring to each of them a satisfaction and degree of happiness which may help alleviate the great sorrow that now burdens them." Mildred saw to it that all eight children graduated from high school, while maintaining her position as a teacher in country schools.

In March of 1944, Mildred married John Bryant in Gering, Nebraska. Their son, George Bryant, was born the following March. Staying by her husband's side, Mildred lived in many locations including Riverton, Wyoming for 25 years. In September, 1995, they returned to Lusk, Wyoming. Her husband John passed away in May of 1996.

Mildred enjoyed gardening, reading, worshiping her Lord and Savior, and spending time with her family, which was very important to her. One of her most proud accomplishments was putting pen to paper in 1999, and with the help and encouragement of her family, she wrote and published "Sister," a heartwarming autobiographical account of the hardships and triumphs of a young woman left to raise her orphaned siblings on the plains of eastern Wyoming during the Depression and World War II. The title "Sister" was derived as a result of her younger siblings' inability to pronounce Mildred. To this day, she is still referred to as "Sister" by her siblings.

Mildred is survived by her son, George Bryant of Gillette, Wyoming; brother, Enis Crofutt and wife Barbara of Douglas, Wyoming; sister, Iris Baughn of Lusk, Wyoming; brother Glenn Crofutt and wife Shirlee of Thermopolis, Wyoming; sister Lola Leonard and husband Sam of Carlsbad, California; three grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and, numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death are her husband, John Bryant; parents, Charles and Edith Crofutt; brothers Gerald, Lawrence, Keith, and Lyle Crofutt; sisters Faye, Lois and Irma Crofutt; and, a grandson, William Keith Bryant.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Lusk, Wyoming. Graveside services will follow at the Lusk Cemetery with a reception at the Baptist Church immediately following the graveside service.

Memorials may be made in Mildred's name directly to the First Baptist Church, 301 S. Elm, Lusk, Wyoming, 82225, or to the Leaf of Gold Memorial at the Niobrara County Library Foundation Inc., P. O. Box 510, Lusk, Wyoming, 82225.

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