Boats 09

John Kent Bryant

August 19, 1930 ~ November 30, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old

John Bryant Obituary

John Kent Bryant passed away peacefully on November 30, 2023 at the age of 93, surrounded by his children, Susan and Gardner, and his wish-granting caregiving team, after appreciating one last adventure back to his beloved wooded home in Cohasset.

A Celebration of Life will be held 2:00 on Saturday, January 13th, 2024 at St. Stephens Church in Cohasset with a receiving line and storytelling reception to follow in the Church's function Hall at
3:30. His and Kit’s ashes will be scattered in the outer Cohasset Harbor with a joyful small-boat armada in June. Details, dates and times are forthcoming and will be posted here. Or email or for details.

His family encourages you to celebrate outdoors, with children.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to support adoptions through the Home for Little Wanderers or the Center for Student Coastal Research where a fascination with learning takes many forms consistent with John Bryant’s, his father Hiram’s, and his grandfather John Ebenezer’s love of education via experiencing the world.

Please enjoy this Slide Show of his life as prepared for his 90th Birthday Zoomed Party-Click the link:

Slide show

John is predeceased by his wife, Katharine Seward Bryant (Gardner), and his parents Margaret (Kent) and Earlham Bryant. Along with his children, Susa and Gardner, both of Cohasset, he leaves his sister Susan Terrill Law and her children Alison, Dareth and Rowan, and her grandchildren Tesla and Simon, and members of the Donald W. Gardner, Jr. family. 

John was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1930 and lived with his parents in Seacane, Whitbey, and Haverford, where he attended Episcopal Academy where his father taught French. Kent and Bryant aunts, uncles and cousins lived in Landsdowne and around the Darby Creek.

John served as PFC in the U.S. Army from 1948-49, making lifelong friends, and in the reserves through 1954. He worked at Sun Ship, Luders, Johnson, and Sparkman & Stevens yacht yards, and finished his degree at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. From childhood, he sailed at Mantoloking Yacht Club with many future Olympians, and went on to represent the United States in Melbourne in 1956 as foredeck man on a 5.5 meter skippered by Andy Schoettle. During the trials, Andy begged a ride to a protest meeting from a sailing dinghy in Marblehead
harbor, and got John a date with it's sailor. John and Katharine Seward Gardner were married in 1959 in Marblehead, and moved to Cohasset soon thereafter.

John raced 110's in the 1960’s, ran cruises in the 1980’s, and a rogue New Year’s Day Opti race, and welcomed many new members over the years at Cohasset Yacht Club. John and Kit raised their children Susan and Gardner aboard the boats Little Stevey and Dawn Treader, sailing from Rhode Island to Maine. Upon retirement, for ten years, they lived aboard the Kittiwake, sailing
from Cohasset to the Bahamas each year, and seeing many old and new friends. Stories of great sailing opportunities would light up his face until the very end.

John worked at Bethlehem Steel, with many future friends, and then for his father-in-law's Gardner Advertising, and for publications Relocation Boston, Coastal Cruising, and Northeast Sailing Life. He was an active member of the Business Roundtable of Boston networking group.

In Cohasset, John served as a Sunday School Teacher, Boy Scout Leader and on the Conservation Commission with Jack Hubbard, Dick Avery, and other conservation notables, and took his kids on wetland inspections.

In his elder years, he took care of his wife and then overcame Babesiosis. Even with dementia, John attended Sean Bagget's Hull Lifesaving Museum book club, Bob Jackman's history lectures at the Senior Center, Clinton family events, clambakes, Wolfe family events, Gardner sails, and expressed enthusiasm for rowing and sailing adventures, and the interests and family members of the people around him. He remained up for adventures whether to a pub, to Maine, in a dinghy 'round Bassings, to Nantasket Beach or to his caregivers' families, and for his last one, back to his home from the hospital after seeing an angel.

The family is eternally grateful to Siobhan Lynch & family, Kathleen and Joe Earner, Martin and David Ward, and Marlena Kurnik whose enthusiasm, creativity, respect, care, arrangements, knowledge, advocacy, devotion, intelligence, flexibility and love filled his elder years with adventures and smiles.

Due to his unflappable lifelong optimism, his cells will be contributing to neurological science under the same team at the Mass General Brigham who handled Kit’s cells at age 8 and 85.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of John Kent Bryant, please visit our Tree Store.

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Celebration of Life
January 13, 2024

2:00 PM
St. Stephens Church (Cohasset)

January 13, 2024

3:30 PM
St. Stephens Church (Cohasset)


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