Retha “Rita” Locklear Bryant, 84 of Kinston, passed away Friday, January 6, 2023. She was born in Robeson County, NC on December 2, 1938 to the late Foncie and Sudie Maynor Locklear.
Retha was raised in Lumberton, NC and was proud of her Lumbee Indian heritage. Her late husband of 55 years, James Bryant was her true love, and together, they devoted their time and energy to raising their family in Kinston, NC. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend to all who knew her. The back door was usually unlocked and while guests may have stopped by unexpectedly, they left knowing that they were always welcome. It was also not unusual for guests to leave without tasting something from her most recent dish in the kitchen.
Some of her greatest joys in life were spending time with family, cooking, being a wife, mother and grandmother. For some, she may have been the best hostess of the Christmas party, the best cook for your breakfast biscuit, or the best prayer warrior in your corner. To her family, she was the one to carry on all the traditions, and she never missed an opportunity to share how much she loved you. For twenty plus years, she owned The Breakfast House, where numerous people shared meals and she genuinely cherished the friendships gained there. She retired in 1994. Prior to the decline of her health, she spent Sunday mornings at Tabernacle Free Will Baptist Church and was happiest when her children joined her on the pew.
In addition to her parents and husband, she is preceded in death by brothers, Jordan and Sonny Maynor and Delton Locklear; sisters, Regina Hunt, Lona Locklear and Lyne Paul; Godmother, Quessie Maynor, and son, Jimmy “Tilley” Bryant.
She is survived by her sons, Marty Jones (Debbie), Mike Jones (Vickie), Mitch Jones (Kristi); daughters, Myra Chamness (Kim), Gloria Hill (Tim), Teresa Gail Williams (Mark), Sheila Mosley (Johnny); grandchildren, Ashley Andrews (Joseph), Tanya Brinson (Ray), Lynn Jones, Brooke Jones, Thomas Gautier, James Gautier; many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, special sisters-in-law, Dottie Willis, Doshia “Bill” Oxendine and her cousin, Harold and Verlene Tyner.
A special thank you to J. A. Caison, mom’s neighbor, for all his help through the years.
The family will receive friends at the home of Gloria and Tim Hill, 2179 Summerhill Terrace, Kinston, NC.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 1:00 pm at Pinelawn Memorial Park with Pastor Alan Stocks officiating.