Cover photo for Earnest W. Bryant's Obituary
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1927 Earnest 2014

Earnest W. Bryant

November 17, 1927 — October 31, 2014

Earnest W. "Ernie" Bryant, 86, of Punta Gorda, Fla., died Friday, October 31, 2014. He was born November 17, 1927, in Avon Park, Fla., to Calvin and Nellie (nee Schofield) Bryant. He served in the US Army from 1945-1950 and was stationed primarily in Berlin, Germany. While there, he met and married his first wife, Ursula and also became fluent in German. In 1952, he began work at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as a communications maintainer repairing the railroad phone lines from Naples to Wauchula and Boca Grande to Arcadia. He had many hobbies throughout his life, including playing several musical instruments, flying model airplanes, photography, and growing plants in a small slat house that he built in the lot next to his home. He loved to tell the story of a time when he was a teenager and his father taught him how to pollinate flowers. He went around the yard of their Avon Park home and pollinated every flower. He left the railroad in 1972, and decided to turn his plant growing hobby into a business by starting Bryant Nursery, where he developed unique methods for growing Dracaena Marginatas. In the early 90's, he turned his attention to growing the Adenium Obesum, or Desert Rose. He began the Adenium Research Foundation (ARF) in order to study all aspects of growing this beautiful plant. In recent years, he began grafting the plants so that there are three different colored flowers on each plant. Many of the Desert Roses seen around Punta Gorda and beyond are from his nursery. Before his death, he was enjoying his latest invention, a vertical seed germinator. He had many friends, loved to tell jokes and often said "I've never met a stranger". He is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughters, Evie (George) Tipping of North Port and Debbie (Mike) Onushco of Punta Gorda; son, John (Kim) Bryant of Cape Coral; sister, Nita Medrek of Bradenton, Fla.; grandchildren, Amanda Tipping (Tom Lewis) and Jarrett (Tania) Tipping of North Port; Shane Bryant of Cape Coral and great-grandchildren, Ryder Tipping and Jillian Orr of North Port. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Calvin and Thomas and his first wife Ursula Bryant. There will be no services at this time. To express condolences to the family, please sign the online guest book.

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