Her Life

A Life Spent Caring for her Family

MARCIA YVONNE BRYAN “Joy” began flowering the earth on May 1, 1959. She was the ninth child born to the union of the late Adrian Percival and Mavis Violet McLean. One look at this beautiful flower and she was immediately nicknamed “Joy”.
Joy, or Marcie as others called her, received the Lord as her personal Savior at a tender age at the Wilshire Park Church of God of Prophecy. She feared God and made certain that she read the word and raised her children to be God-fearing as well.
As a child, Joy was as active as she was fearless. There was a grapefruit tree near the house that was known to house a hive of bees. Most were scared to climb the tree, but not her. She climbed the tree in pursuit of the delicious fruit (she absolutely loved grapefruit). As she emerged from the tree with her prize, the other children started running as the bees were now pursuing her. Although she was stung, which resulted in her head being the size of a grapefruit, we learned early on that this was a lady not to be denied.
Joy was formerly educated in the Red Hills Primary School and later went on to attend Frankfield Comprehensive (now known as Edwin Allen High School). She was a great student and excelled, forming lifelong bonds with several of her professors. She migrated to the US in 1978, where she resumed her education, attending Northwestern High School (night school) in Adelphi, Maryland. Joy did not stop there. She later attended Smith Business School in hopes of attaining a trade to make a good life for herself. Joy later found love in doing hair, so she enrolled in the Hollywood Beauty School in Hyattsville, Maryland and obtained her Cosmetology license. She worked at hair salons and later styled her family, friends, and colleagues’ hair at her home in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Marcia (Joy)’s passion was in the culinary arts. She loved to cook and nobody, nobody could touch her rice and peas and those fluffy fried dumplings. She won over a lot of the American-born nieces and nephews with those dumplings. Well known as oneof the most gifted culinarians in the family, her food would nourish your body and delight the soul. Joy worked at many places around the region providing care for the elderly, as well as cooking for various nursing homes. 
Joy met the then love of her life in Red Hills, Clarendon in 1977 at the tender age of 18 years old. They later married, and from this union, two children were born, Sherece and Davian Bryan. This is when her most notable work began. Marcia raised her children in a home filled with love and respect for education. This was a woman who would not take no for an answer when school administrators tried to hold her children back. She put in the work - reading with her children and helping them with their homework outside on the patio after school. She instilled the power of education and the respect for hard work in her children.
While the union with her husband did not make it to the end, Marcia persisted to make a loving home for her children. She sprang into action, and in true Jamaican form, took on two jobs to keep a roof over their heads. For a remarkable period of about 10 years, Marcia worked a grueling 13 hours per day, six days a week. A typical day included her going to Adelphi Elementary School at 8am to work in the cafeteria. She then came home at 2pm, took a quick nap and then went to her second job at Ledo’s restaurant. At 11pm, she would bring food home for her children and ask about their day. Despite this intense schedule, Marcia excelled at her job because she did them with pride and love. At Adelphi, she would give the kids who were hungry a little extra or put in that touch of seasoning to liven up the typical school lunch. At Ledo’s, customers would come in and ask for her to specifically prepare their food because no one else was as delightful. No matter the task, Marcia would excel.
Unfortunately, this hectic schedule took a toll on her health. In short, Marcia’s diligence, love, and hard work gave her children two amazing gifts: a mother who truly loved them and the platform from which to dream. As she wouldn’t be denied that grapefruit early on, she would not be denied a promising future for her children.
Ever the competitor, as her health declined, she took up an interest in sports, most notably football and tennis - especially tennis. Her favorite players, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams allowed her to compete from the sideline and experience a feeling she had multiple times in life - winning. Her children were at her side as she passed on from this world and will be forever thankful for having her in their lives.
Outside of her children, Marcia was affectionately known as Auntie Joy.  She took the time to lend a helping hand to her many nieces and nephews. That was the thing about Marcia, when you needed her, she was there ready to help.
Marcia, Joy, Marcie, you will be missed. She has left us broken hearted and this hole will forever be open. We loved her, but we know now that God loved her best. From the outpouring of love, we know that Joy touched many lives and that’s a testimony of who she was. The Bible says in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Because we know that God loved her more than we could love her, we take comfort in knowing that because she knew God for herself, she is taking her rest in that heavenly mansion that was prepared by Almighty God for her. She earned her wings, and we are at a bitter-sweet place right now knowing that we miss her; but we also know that her years of health struggles are finally over. No more sickness, no more pain; and we thank God for the life that our mother, sister, and aunt lived. 
There will be a glorious reunion on the streets of gold with walls of Jasper.
Marcia Yvonne Bryan (Joy) leaves to cherish her memories: her devoted children and stepchildren Sherece and Davian Bryan, Rowan, Denard, Mark, and Marcus Bryan; her pride and joy, granddaughter Ariyana Farquharson; siblings Dudley Howell (Daphne), Daphne Gray-Griffith (Abraham), Lynette Palmer, Jean Green (Martin), Amy McLean, Glen Drake, Gilbert McLean (Gwen), Hazel Brown (Owen), Winsome Jones, and Carol McLean; and a hosts of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends from around the globe.