James Ernest “Jim” Bryant peacefully passed away at his home in Isle, MN, on June 10th with his wife, Ione, and his daughter, Lenore at his side.
Jim was born in Hibbing, MN, on March 21st, 1931 to Eleanor and Ernest Bryant. He worked in the Iron Range mines for several years before enlisting in the Navy. Here, he served as a helicopter mechanic on aircrafts during the Korean War.
After his tour of duty, Jim returned to Minnesota to raise his daughter, Charlene. He worked for a brief period of time again in the mines before joining the forestry service. It was during this time, that he met his life-long love, Ione Lorraine Carlson. They were married and had a daughter, Lenore.
Jim, Ione and family moved to McGrath, MN, in 1961, where Jim worked three more years for the forestry service.
In 1965, he and a handful of other candidates out of a field of 600 applicants were accepted into the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to serve as game wardens (now known as conservation officers). Jim and family moved to Fairmont, MN, where he served as conservation officer until 1971.
Jim missed the North Woods so he applied for and was transferred to Isle, MN. He enjoyed his years In Isle working Mille Lacs Lake and the surrounding area. He especially enjoyed stopping in to visit with the locals. He was never at a loss for sharing a good story; especially, if a cup of coffee and a cookie were provided.
Jim was a Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer and a member of the Isle Lions Club. Most years, he never missed a Lions’ meeting. He was quite proud of the services that both the SAR and the Lions Club provided.
Jim also came up with the idea to start a fish fry for the senior citizens. Over a five-year period, he and other contributing wardens, from the illegal fish they had confiscated, with the help of Ione and many area locals would host an annual fish fry at no charge to the senior citizens.
Jim spent his final years with his wife, Ione, and his beloved golden retrievers, Katie and Libby, in the log home they built in Isle, MN. He enjoyed photography, fishing, oil color painting and traveling during his retirement.
He is survived by his wife, Ione; daughters Charlene Darling and Lenore Bryant; brother Kenneth Bryant and sister-in-law Connie; nieces and nephews Connie, Richard, Kenny (Julie) and Julie Sorensen (Dave); and grandchildren Elizabeth, Bob, and Crystal.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents Eleanor and Ernest Bryant.
A memorial service in Isle, MN, is being planned for on July 20th, 2019. Further details will be provided when available.