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Rev. Dr. Cleveland Eugene "Gene" Bryant

The Rev. Dr. Cleveland Eugene “Gene” Bryant was born on June 4, 1946, in Muscatine, Iowa to Cleveland Hendricks Bryant and M. Florence (McCully) Bryant. Gene passed quietly at home after a year long battle with sarcoma, a rare cancer.

He grew up in Muscatine, graduating from Muscatine High School in 1964. He attended Muscatine Community College for two years before earning a scholarship to Drake University, where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. There he met his wife, Linda (Pollard) Bryant, whom he married on January 25, 1969.

Gene earned a Master of Divinity in 1971 and a Doctor of Ministry in 1986, both from Christian Theological Seminary. Over 40 years as a congregational pastor, he served churches in Indiana, West Virginia, and Iowa. He was particularly known for his preaching, pastoral care, and community outreach.

After retiring, he served in several ways at Plymouth United Church of Christ in Des Moines and was an active member of Kiwanis, Torch, Ollie, Central Iowa and Pure Stodge motorcycle clubs, and a supporter of the Varsity Theater.

Outside of an unfailing commitment to his family, Gene enjoyed history, reading, travel, movies, cars and, in later years, motorcycling. From childhood, he built model planes, cars, and history-related items, and finally a Lego model of the Roman Coliseum. He rode his cycle to Rallies in Montana, New York, as well as to explore Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents and other close relatives. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda, his sons Curtis (Sonja Tutsch-Bryant), John (Susan Lang), step-grandson Tyler Russell and his kitty, Sheba.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his honor may be made to Plymouth Church Foundation (4126 Ingersoll, Des Moines, 50312) Phi Beta Kappa, or American Cancer Society.

The memorial service will be held April 7, 2024, 2:00 p.m., at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 4126 Ingersoll, Des Moines. Visitation will begin at 1:00. The service will be live streamed at


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