Edwin L. “Ned” Bryan

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Edwin L. “Ned” Bryan

Death: November 29, 2019 (84)
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Harry Haywood Bryan and Margaret Hollingsworth “Peggy” Bryan

Managed by: Private User
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About Edwin L. “Ned” Bryan


Edwin L. (Ned) Bryan, MD, FACP passed away on November 29 after a rich and fulfilling life.

Ned was born on October 7, 1935 in Japan to missionary parents Rev. Harry Bryan and Margaret Hollingsworth Lancaster Bryan.

Returning to the U.S. in 1941, Ned spent his formative years in Bessemer, Alabama, where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and served as president of the student body of Bessemer High School. Ned graduated from Princeton University with an AB degree in history and completion of his pre-med requirements as electives. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with his MD degree in 1961. Ned completed his internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA. His residency in internal medicine and a cardiology fellowship followed at NC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC. His residency was interrupted for two years by his service with the Public Health Service, serving as chief medical officer at the Federal Reformatory for Women at Alderson, WV.

Ned married his high school sweetheart, Joan Denson, in 1958, whom he had courted long-distance and by mail until the end of his first year of medical school. At that time, they decided that the courting by mail had run its course and they joined their lives together in marriage.

In 1967, Ned moved with his family to Greensboro, NC to join Sam Joyner, MD in his internal medicine practice; that practice later became Guilford Medical Associates. Ned was very active in medical affairs. He became a member of the NC and American Medical Societies. In 1984, he served as president of the Guilford County Medical Society. Ned also served as president of the American Heart Association Greensboro affiliate, was chief of medicine at Moses Cone Hospital and served terms as president of both Wesley Long and Moses Cone Hospitals' medical boards. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians and was a founding board member of Physicians Health Plan of Guilford, which became a part of United Health. Through his fulfilling practice of medicine, Ned developed a lasting mutual respect and friendship with a multitude of patients. Upon his retirement from his medical practice in 2001, he continued his association with medicine, serving several terms as chairman of the retired doctors group SPOG (Senior Physicians of Greensboro), additional terms as chairman of the Medical Society / Alliance Endowment Committee, and for 30 years was a consultant expert medical witness for the Social Security Administration administrative law judges, ruling on disability cases.

Ned was a 52-year member of Starmount Presbyterian Church, where he remained an engaged and enthusiastic member until death. Ordained as an elder, he served a number of terms, participated in numerous committees and lent his beautiful baritone voice to the chancel choir. Community service was high on Ned's list of priorities. He was a generous financial supporter of a plethora of local charities and other groups and served on the boards for Eastern Music Festival, Music for a Great Space, and several other organizations. Music was an abiding interest for Ned, beginning with childhood piano studies and choir, high school glee club and later band where he played clarinet and oboe. He sang in the chapel choir at Princeton and was a treasured member of the Starmount Presbyterian chancel choir.

As accomplished as he was in his professional life, Ned was equally accomplished at family life. Ned was a proud and adoring husband, father and grandfather, as well as a devoted son and brother.

Ned is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Joan Denson Bryan, his children, Ned Bryan, Jr. (Leslie) of Greensboro, Beth Bryan Breece (David) of High Point, and Jeffrey Bryan (Julie) of Winston-Salem, and grandchildren Haleigh Breece and Jacob Breece of High Point. He is also survived by his brother, James A. Bryan II (Betsy) of Chapel Hill, and his sister, Mary Bryan DuBard (James) of Birmingham, AL.

Ned's ashes will be interred in the columbarium in Montreat, NC, a community with which he had a treasured association since childhood and where he and Joan maintained a second home for many years.

As difficult as it is to imagine a world without Ned Bryan in it, his influence will remain. He left every place and organization he served and every person he encountered better than he found them. Indeed, he made this world a better place and through his exemplary life provided us a glimpse of the next.

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Edwin L. “Ned” Bryan's Timeline

October 7, 1935
November 29, 2019
Age 84