Love brought Joyce Bryan to Wilson County - but family, friends and fun have kept her here for many decades.
Bryan is originally from nearby Davidson County. The Central High graduate moved east when she fell in love with - and married - a young Wilson County native by the name of Cecil Bryan.
Cecil was Sheriff in Wilson County from 1968 to 1975. The couple was married for 43 years, until his death in 2000.
The Bryans had four children, Cindy Curtis, Charlie Bryan, Teri Bowser and her "baby son" Robert Bryan - who followed in his father's footsteps, being named Sheriff of Wilson County in 2012.
Bryan is in the unique position of having a husband and a son who have both served in law enforcement. She believes our public servants benefit from community support.
"Get involved with as many sponsored programs of each division of law enforcement and first responders," she advised. "For example, attend their Citizens Academy classes of each division, giving blood when they have blood drives - give them your love and support."
Bryan worked at Castle Heights Military Academy for 25 years, during which time she also supported the Wilson County Sheriff's Office.
"I would cook for the jail on weekends when Cecil was Sheriff," she said. "It was quite an experience."
Bryan next worked for Fortune Plastics and retired after 12 years.
The best thing about retirement is being "free to do as I please," she said.
Nowadays Bryan spends her time dancing, playing piano, traveling and being with family and friends. She has also revisited pageants.
Bryan has earned several titles and crowns, including 2004 Ms. Senior Wilson County.
She stays involved with the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center, playing piano for their sing-a-long every Monday.
Bryan said that Fleming is always ready to help someone else. "She is always there when I need her. She volunteers her time and love for others," she said. "We have a great time together and enjoy life to the fullest."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.