John Charles Bryant – Local historian, arts supporter, loyal friend to many in the community,
died on January 3, 2022, in the company of friends and his beloved physician.
He was born Nov. 26, 1937, in South Bend, to Georgia Ward and John C. Bryant.
John Charles graduated from Central High School in 1957. He was a proud member of the
Central High School Alumni Association and served on the all-class reunion committee.
Although John Charles had many travels, South Bend was his home, and he invested his
time and energy in making the city better. The numerous organizations and boards he
served include a lifetime membership at the Northern Indiana Center for History. A
descendant of one of South Bend’s pioneering black families, John Charles was a devoted
student of history and contributed a large portion to the center’s black history collection. He
also established a scholarship in his parents’ name at Indiana University South Bend.
Other organization John Charles was involved with included the NAACP, the Alumni
Association for South Bend Community Schools, and the South Bend Hall of Fame, into
which he was inducted in 2012. John Charles was active with the Casaday Costume
Collection, the South Bend Civic Theatre, and a host of other organizations. His survivors
include cousins and many good friends.
John Charles lived this quote from his friend and mentor, the late Josephine Curtis, a
community activist: “The service you give is the price you pay for the space you occupy.”
John Charles’ manner of speaking was direct, and he didn’t suffer fools gladly, but he was
also kind and thoughtful. You could not ask for a better and truer friend. Another of his
favorite quotes seems appropriate to reflect upon at this time: “Love knows not its own
depth until the hour of separation”
Services will be held at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, 1001 W. Colfax Ave, South Bend
46601 on January 14, 2022. Visitation begins at 11:00 am followed by services at 1:00pm.
Palmer Funeral Homes – Welsheimer North Chapel is assisting the family with
arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Indiana
University Foundation for IUSB Civil Rights Heritage Center, PO Box 7111, South Bend, IN
46634 Attn: Dina Harris or to the Heroes Camp, Inc 4130 N. Hickory Rd, Mishawaka, IN
46645. Online condolences may be made at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.