Funeral services for Paul Lavell Bryan, 72, of Zavalla, will be held Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Shafer Funeral Home in Lufkin with Bro. Jackson Colwell and Bro. Gerald Sowell officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Broaddus, Texas.
Mr. Bryan was born April 17, 1950, in Bessemay, Texas, in Jasper County, the sixth child of Cebern and Florine Bryan and died Monday, May 2, 2022, in Zavalla. He did not finish high school because he went to work on the Sam Rayburn Dam, but he was still one of the smartest people you could ever meet. He had a strong work ethic and would give the shirt off his back to a stranger if they needed it.
He spent over 40 years working in the logging industry, carrying a chainsaw all day and cutting logs, coming home covered in sawdust. Sometimes he came home with baby squirrels or raccoons that had fallen out of the trees that he cut, in his pocket for Nancy and the girls to bottle feed until they could survive on their own.
Paul met his future wife, Nancy, at Dairy Mart in Broaddus when she was just 16 years old. Nancy’s friends coerced her into asking him to take them to the drive-in movie that weekend because he had a truck. He agreed, but later went to each friend and told them that he was not going but did not tell Nancy. She got ready for the movies, and he came to pick her up. Just before they were scheduled to leave, they had to go round up the cows that had gotten out of the pasture because a gate was left open. After they got in the truck to go pick up friends, he told her that the friends were not going and that it would be just the two of them. Paul was always playing tricks like that and telling jokes usually telling the punch line long before he should have.
Paul and Nancy were married on March 3 1972, at the jailhouse in San Augustine. This is a favorite story of theirs to tell. Neither of them were actually incarcerated, that is where the Justice of the peace Office was and their ceremony was witnessed by multiple law enforcement personnel, including the sheriff and deputies, game wardens and Texas Rangers. They were married for over 50 years and raised three girls together, Emily, Heather, and Alisha.
Paul retired from the logging industry in 2001 when his health no longer allowed. He stayed busy raising cows, goats, and huge gardens. He even learned how to do his own canning. He had a knack for growing some of the best tomatoes, peas, and okra. If you ask his family, some of the best times were spent working in the garden and shelling peas. Paul was an avid sports fan, specifically cheering of the Zavalla Eagles and Lady Eagles, in basketball, baseball, softball, track and cross country, very seldom missing an event, often filling a cooler with Gatorade, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and ice, loading it on the bus for away games or waiting with a cooler at home games. He loved supporting kids, not just his own kids and grandkids. He was an avid Yankees fan and rarely missed a game on TV. He was a die-had supporter of Donald Trump and would tell you real quick that he should still be president. If you wanted to get him all riled up, just start talking about politics, but be careful because he watched the news religiously, and could always back up his views with facts.
Paul’s health problems were directly related to years of smoking cigarettes. He wanted to send a message that if you are a smoker, stop smoking now, your life depends on it.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy (Quinn) Bryan of Zavalla, TX; daughters and sons-in-law, Emily and Jason Oliver of Zavalla, TX, Heather and Chris Fischer of Slocum, TX, and Alisha and Rick Taddia of Zavalla, TX; 9 grandchildren, Wesley Herring and wife Leah of Zavalla, TX, Blake Herring and wife Jalen of Zavalla, TX, Chelsea Roebuck and John McCoy of Houston, TX, Jena Sprinkle and husband Jakob of Central, TX, Cade Birchfield and Cole Birchfield of Houston, TX, Jordan Bryan of Slocum and Piper Bryan of Zavalla, TX, and Cole Oliver of Zavalla, TX; 3 great-grandchildren, Kalen, Alyssa, and Kinley Herring of Zavalla, TX; brothers, Jimmy Bryan, Bo Bryan and Maurice Bryan; sister Mildred May; along with numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and friends and special friend Kenneth Marshall of Zavalla, TX.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Cebern and Florine Bryan; brothers, Ray Bryan, Lynn Bryan, James Bryan; sisters, Fran Bryan, and Sue Ann Bryan.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Jayci, RN, and the rest of the Affinity Hospice Staff for their excellent care provided.
Pallbearers will be Wesley Herring, Blake Herring, Cade Birchfield, Cole Birchfield, John McCoy, and Jakob Sprinkle.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at Shafer Funeral Home in Lufkin.
Shafer Funeral Home, Lufkin directors.
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