Thursday, July 09, 2009
She Finally Caught Up With Him
“She finally caught up with him,” was the caption one of her granddaughters put on this photo.
Lucy Bryan Philpott was buried this week at Andersonville National Cemetery after a courageous battle with Lymphoma. Her funeral service was held at the First Baptist Church in Reynolds, GA.
And that is exactly where it should have been held.
Lucy was the last of the children of Dr. S.H. and Louise Bryan. For many years, Dr. Bryan was the town doctor and was also a prominent farmer. He raised his four children in what was affectionately known in Reynolds as “Big House” that sits directly across the street from the Baptist church.
I couldn’t help but notice some folks who grew up in Reynolds and moved on to other places made the effort to come back home Wednesday morning to pay their respects to this magnificent lady and her family.
And maybe even to pay respects to a remarkable community that helped shape their lives.
You would have to be from a small town to understand how deep the roots of friendships grow for people who have friends whose parents were friends, whose grandparents were friends and even whose great grandparents were friends.
It becomes difficult to separate friends from family.
Lucy left Reynolds after high school to get an education. She fell in love with an Oklahoma boy who had just graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. They married, had a family and traveled all over the world with the United States Air Force.
By the way, her husband had a rather illustrious military career. He eventually became Director of Intelligence of the U.S. Strategic Air Command and later became Vice Commander in Chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and a 3 Star General.
Of course they would visit her family in Reynolds every chance they got.
Sometimes their kids would spend their summers in Reynolds at “big house.” In fact many of the other Bryan grandchildren who lived in other parts of the country would also spend their summers in Reynolds. As you might imagine, the “big house” was a very active house and kind of like the Grand Central Station of Reynolds.
And the Bryan grandchildren who lived in other places became friends with all the kids in Reynolds. And lifelong generational relationships were established.
General and Mrs. Philpott, known in Reynolds as Jammie and Lucy, retired in the 70’s and built a home on the outskirts of town. General Philpott died in 1999 and was honored at Andersonville National Cemetery in the incredible way a decorated retired General should be honored.
When Lucy found out she had cancer a few years ago, she decided to sell her house and move to Virginia to be closer to her children.
She said she didn’t want to be a burden.
The retired General and his wife loved to exercise after they retired. It was a normal occurrence to see them walking through town or on the outside of town or on the golf course. Jamie always had a stick in his hand. Lucy was always about 8 paces behind him.
She had also followed him all over the world as he served our country.
But she has caught up with him now.
And when she did, an incredible era in the history of Reynolds GA ended.