Maxie Bryant

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Maxie Taylor Bryant (born November 30, 1923 in Samantha, Tuscaloosa County; died November 26, 2006) was a manager for BellSouth and an environmental activist, best known for her lobbying on behalf of the Sipsey River Swamp in her native north Tuscaloosa County.

Maxie was one of 10 children born to Jim and Stella Taylor on a farm in that area. She joined the family on frequent fishing trips into the swamp, developing a connection to the wilderness there. At 19, after graduating from Gorgas High School, she left home to work in a bakery in Tuscaloosa, then, during World War II she volunteered to fill a need for telephone operators in Miami, Florida. While there she met Jack Bryant, a Tuscaloosa native stationed with the Army in South Florida. The couple married in 1946 and settled in Tuscaloosa where he worked for the Post Office.

Mrs Bryant worked her way through the ranks at Southern Bell (now AT&T South) and eventually became plant assigner, making sure equipment for new orders was in working condition. In her off hours she enjoyed taking her family into the Sipsey for fishing trips. She became president of the Tuscaloosa Audubon Society, speaking to schoolchildren frequently about native birds. She was also active as a member of Forest Lake Baptist Church, the Tuscaloosa Tree Commission, Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary, Alabama Ornithological Society, and the Forever Wild Land Trust.

She retired from BellSouth after 40 years of service. In the 1990s Bryant began lobbying Forever Wild to buy up the Sipsey Swamp for permanent protection of the area. The board eventually concurred and made a 3,000 acre purchase in 1999.

Bryant died in November 2006 at the age of 82. She was survived by one brother and three sisters, and by her two children, three grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Services were held at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel.

References

  • Kent, Dawn (February 25, 2007) "She spoke for the swamp." Birmingham News.
  • "Bryant, Maxie Taylor" (November 28, 2006) obituary. Birmingham News.