Gary Everett Bryant, 73, of Hernando, FL, went home to be with the Lord on April 14, 2020, under the kind care of nurses and staff at Vitas Hospice House in Lecanto, FL, following a battle with cancer. He was born January 27, 1947 in Salem, OH, son of Gwendolyn Weaver. He married, and had two sons. He worked at several jobs in Salem, the most significant of which was as a Salem PD Police Officer and detective. He went on to work as a special agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation covering a large swath of Ohio. His career then took him to the Summit County Sheriff’s Department in Akron, OH where he worked as an undercover agent and later as detective in the organized crime unit. It was there he met, fell in love with and married his sweetheart, Tara L. Cook on September 8th, 1978. They were married for 42 adventuresome years. Gary and Tara left OH in 1981 on a Harley Davidson, traveled 10,000 miles, and settled in Naples, FL where they lived until 1998. Gary had an entrepreneurial spirit, owning a police uniform/gun shop in Akron, an award-winning pizza shop and, his pride and joy, Firearms Unlimited, an indoor shooting range and gun shop in Naples. He was a master gunsmith and dabbled in knife making, carving and even tackled guitar making for a grandson’s college graduation gift. He was opinionated and stubborn and soft-hearted and generous. His pride and love ran deep for his sons and grandsons. He moved to Citrus County, FL in 1998 where, among other ventures, he opened a t-shirt shop with a gun shop on the side in Inverness. He loved to barter and trade. His struggles in life were many. As a follower of Jesus, he entrusted himself to the One who has now healed all his wounds. He was a member of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church and through the years loved serving on missions, as a life group leader, a member of a men’s bible study group and on the board of Seven Rivers Christian School. He was known for his one-liners and corny jokes and loved to make people laugh. He loved to have people in his home, not to entertain, but just to do life together, and that often involved him cooking for his wife and friends and of course, making them laugh. He will be dearly missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Gwendolyn Weaver and step-sister Tammy Taylor. He is survived by his wife, Tara Bryant, son Scott Bryant (Leslie), son Craig Bryant, brother Larry Bryant (Gina), grandsons Zachary Bryant, Matthew Bryant and Dawson Bryant and granddaughter Brooke Bryant, father-in-law Don Cook (Trudy), brother-in-law Kurt Cook (Shannon), nephew Luke Cook, nieces Ella Cook and Anna Cook, and nephews Eric Dean and Brian Dean, niece Jennifer Sutton (Tommy), and step-brother Aaron Zebrook (Terry Johnson). He is also survived by numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A memorial will be planned at a later date at Seven Rivers Church in Lecanto, FL and in Salem, OH. Memorial donations may be made to Seven Rivers Christian School, 4221 W. Gulf-to-Lake Hwy, Lecanto FL 34461 or www.sevenriverscs.org. Private cremation was arranged by Baldwin Brothers Cremation. Online condolences may be sent to BaldwinCremation.com.