Marie O. Bryan

Marie O. Bryan

WESTERLO — Marie O. Bryan, an outgoing woman with a career in insurance, always put her family first. She died on Friday, July 1, 2016, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. She was 75.

“She was talkative and friendly,” said her daughter, Stephanie Tapia. “She had a strong will. We called her the Ever Ready bunny. She never quit.”

Mrs. Bryan was born in Catskill on March 10, 1941 to the late Le Roy J. and Olive Clickman Fancher. A lifelong resident of Westerlo, she was raised on her family’s farm. A favorite tale from her childhood was about the baby raccoon she and her brother found and made into a pet, raising it in their home.

“We have pictures of him sitting on the couch,” said Ms. Tapia

She graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo Schools and went directly to work for an insurance company. Over the years, she worked at various insurance companies, including Pioneer Insurance, Stanton Insurance, and then retired from Eastern Mutual Insurance Company.

“She could tell you everything and anything about insurance,” said her daughter.

She was a devoted wife, married to Ronald J. Bryan for 52 years. “They did everything together,” said Ms. Tapia of her parents. “They were basically inseparable.” The Bryans were members of the Helderberg Hilltoppers Camping Club and enjoyed the outdoors.

They also belonged to the Westerlo Historical Society, the Rensselaerville Seniors, and the Westerlo Reformed Church. Mrs. Bryan was a member of the Ladies’ Aid at the church and helped to organize many church dinners.

“She loved to cook,” said Ms. Tapia. “For the town-wide garage sale, she and my dad would make salad and put it in containers for people.”

Mrs. Bryan cooked from scratch; a family favorite was her homemade spaghetti sauce.

Mrs. Bryan was a “really dedicated mother,” her daughter said. “She adored her grandkids.” Ms. Tapia’s son, Jack, now 16, and daughter, Emily, about to be 14, who live in Connecticut, loved spending time with their grandmother.

“They would stay with my parents and go camping,” Ms. Tapia said. “They were the apple of her eye.”


Marie O. Bryan is survived by her husband, Ronald J. Bryan; her daughter, Stephanie Tapia and her husband, Edgar; her grandchildren, Jack and Emma Tapia; her brother, Dennis Fancher and his wife, Susan; her in-laws, Lawrence Bryan and his wife, Marion, William Bryan and his wife, Shirley, and Eldeen Gifford and her husband, James; and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, July 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home at 4898 Route 81 in Greenville, followed by a funeral service at 3 p.m. with burial at Westerlo Rural Cemetery. Condolences can be posted at

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westerlo Rescue Squad, Post Office Box 12, Westerlo, NY 12193 or to the Westerlo Reformed Church, Post Office Box 70, Westerlo, NY 12193.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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