Michael W. Bryant

michael bryant
LTC Michael W. Bryant USA (RET) of Mineral, VA passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 12, 2022, surrounded by family and loved ones. Mike battled Parkinson’s for several years all the while being lovingly cared for by his devoted wife, Charlene. He was 78 years old.

Born in Ballston Spa, NY, on October 28, 1943, Mike Bryant was a proud Saratogian. He was a loving son to Walter and Ruth Bryant and an amazing big brother to Carol, Patty, Maureen and Ellen. He graduated from Siena College in May of 1965 and was commissioned into the Regular Army.

He married Charlene Parker in October of 1965. The couple happily welcomed two sons and two daughters into their family and shared a passion for traveling and exploring new places, which served them well since they moved 13 times in 20 years with the Army. They celebrated 56 years of marriage this past October.

Mike served his country honorably in the US Army. He was a decorated officer retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He received numerous medals for his service including the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal. His assignments included Missile Control Officer (NikeSite), Psychological Warfare Advisor (Vietnam), Combat Arms Instructor (Ft. Harrison), Deputy Director Enlisted Personnel Management (The Pentagon) and Programs Manager (NATO Naples Command, Naples, Italy). During his service, he earned an MBA degree from Tulane University, graduating second in his class.

In 1990, Mike founded and Chaired the Defense Manpower Roundtable, a luncheon group of current and past senior government officials that met bi-monthly to discuss manpower policy issues. The past three Under Secretaries of Defense for Personnel Readiness were members of the group. He was very proud of his membership in this elite group.

After retiring from the Army, Mike worked for a privately owned aerospace firm outside of Washington and became heavily involved in commercial space. His company acquired a small firm that had launched America’s first commercial rocket headed by one of the original Mercury Astronauts, Deke Slayton. Years later that company was acquired by L3 Communications.

Mike eventually retired from the position of Vice President of Compliance and Quality. He enjoyed his work there but was most thankful for the people he met and the friendships he made - friendships he maintained until his passing.

Michael received a life saving liver transplant in June of 2010. He was profoundly grateful to his donor, Aaron, and was honored to have been able to meet Aaron's mother to thank her and her family for such a gift.

Mike’s careers and interests weren’t finished yet. He worked for Fairfax Public TV behind the cameras as well as hosting a weekly talk show on various religious topics.

Always proud of being a Saratogian, Michael and Charlene became part owners of a thoroughbred racing stable. He was able to cheer on his favorite filly, Lamina Blue at several race tracks. You could also find Mike piloting his boat along the Potomac River and on Lake Anna, with Charlene and their grandchildren.

He leaves behind countless treasured friends and has undoubtedly been reunited with the many who were lost along the way. His strong, confident presence and his wonderful story-telling abilities will be missed immeasurably. He is survived by his devoted wife, Charlene; daughters Amy Atkins (Greg) and Colleen Herrera (Eddie), sons Michael(Shari) and David(Donna); 12 grandchildren Katelyn, Lauren, Shane, Jayme, Julia, Austin, Nicolas, Jackson, Gabriel, Cameron, Mia and Cora, 2 great-grandchildren Maya and Emma, sisters Maureen McDonnell (Kevin) and Ellen Boyce (Bobby) and numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren.

A Wake will be held for Michael on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM at Money and King Funeral Home, 171 Maple Avenue West, Vienna, VA 22180.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday February 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 1900 Lawyers Rd, Reston, VA 20191.

Burial with Full military honors, Monday, May 23rd, 2022 at 1pm Arlington National Cemetery

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Memories Timeline


  1. The Owners and Staff at the Money and King Funeral Home, wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable. Please feel free to call us anytime as we are always available to you. Bob Gallagher Funeral Director

  2. Uncle Mike was truly one of a kind. You could have a discussion with him on so many topics. No one loved the thoroughbred race horses and Saratoga Race Course more than Mike. Our love and condolences to Charlene and the kids. Your family up in Saratoga mourns his loss and celebrates his life.

  3. I have find memories of my time as staff working with Mike on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. His commitment and love of country was front and center. We remained in touch through Facebook. My deepest sympathies for his passing. RIP my friend. Judi Nicholas

  4. To Charlene and Family, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Mike was one of a kind and I will miss his smile, his stories, and his enthusiasm. He was truly one of a kind and I am so happy that our paths crossed. I still often drink from my mug in the morning. “Never doubt a Melissa”. I will be praying for all of you.

  5. Dear Charlene, I am so sorry for your loss of Mike. He was a wonderful classmate and friend to me. I’ll always be grateful to him for the ride to see Bill O. and the flowers you both sent me at the time of my brother Bob’s death. My love and prayers for you and your family. Sister Janet Furman,CSJ

  6. Dear Charlene and Family, With Deepest and Heartfelt Sympathy. Mike will be missed by everyone. You are in our prayers.

  7. Mike, we had a lot of fun together back in our time in the Pentagon. Fun and work seemed interchangeable. I learned so much from you. I always have fond thoughts of you and Charlene when I ‘remember when’. Rest in peace Mike.

  8. Charlene and Family, while we mourn the physical passing of Mike his spirit and memory will live in our hearts forever! “The Bear” was a great mentor and engaging story teller. Before y’all had grandkids I used to tell Mike he would be an awesome grandparent because of his excellent story telling skills! I was privileged to work for Mike while in my 20’s and he, along with others, provided rock solid mentoring, values, and integrity to those of us in the next generation work force. To this day, my favorite kudo is a post-it sticky note with cartoon bears across the border and a note from “The Bear” that reads “you done good!” The world needs more like him. Resting in the knowledge that Mike is at home with our Lord and Savior. May the Holy Spirit surround you all with great peace as you journey through the days ahead. Sandy Reeb, Huntsville Alabama

  9. Mike was one of the leaders who helped make the All-Volunteer Force a reality. The excellence of our armed forces today is a lasting tribute to his lifetime of service. David s.C.Chu

  10. Charlene, Kindly again accept our sympathy over the loss of Michael back in Feb. There was never a moment I enjoyed more than talking w/him about upstate Saratoga Springs, history, his career and especially his family. MaryLynn informed us his military services are 1300 tomorrow (Monday). Michael is on our parish prayer intention 23May22 and Easter’s pascal candle up here illuminates this week in his honor. Our thoughts to you, family and his siblings. May he continue to rest in the peace he deserves and God bless America❤️ – Michele/Mark Phillips

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