Article Category: Funereal Friday

The “Bear”

Posted Friday, Jan 08

Southern Calls Vol. 3, March 2014

After the 1982 season, Paul William “Bear” Bryant, 69, announced his decision to retire, stating, “This is my school, my alma mater. I love it and I love my players. But in my opinion, they deserved better coaching than they have been getting from me this year.” After the last game of his career, a 21-15 victory over the University of Illinois in the Liberty Bowl, Bryant was asked what he planned to do now that he was retired. He replied, “Probably croak in a week.” 

His reply proved ominous. Four weeks after making that comment, and just one day after passing a routine medical checkup, Bryant checked into Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa after experiencing chest pain. A day later, January 26, 1983, when being prepared for an electrocardiogram, he died after suffering a massive heart attack. On his hand at the time of his death was the only piece of jewelry he ever wore, a gold ring inscribed “Junction Boys.”

A moment of silence was held prior to Super Bowl XVII, played four days after Bryant’s passing. A month after his death, Bryant was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Ronald Reagan. 

He is interred at Birmingham’s Elmwood Cemetery.

Subscribe today, or order any of our highly collectible issues online in our Shop

***

Check back every Friday for another nugget of funereal miscellany!

Other Recent Articles

Issue 42 Available Now!

Issue 42 Available Now!

Professional automobile enthusiasts rejoice, Southern Calls Issue 42 has a wonderful article about the Professional Car Society filled with page after page of great photos. Our People feature, Michelle Johnston, gives insight into what drives her career and specialty...

read more
Issue 41 Is Selling Fast

Issue 41 Is Selling Fast

Hot off the press...Southern Calls 41 - This special issue covers the Obsequies of Todd Van Beck as told by Jack Lechner and Todd Harra. Well known and respected, TVB's wishes are honored by close friends and shared with us in an intimate story with firsthand writing...

read more
Issue 39 Available Now!

Issue 39 Available Now!

Southern Calls Issue 39 brings you stories from across the country with a brilliant, young Tennessee professional navigating career changes with ease; an historic and classically beautiful California funeral home and gardens that serves the Asian and Hispanic...

read more
After Life Mortuary Services

After Life Mortuary Services

The year is 1961. The Soviet Union has just successfully put Yuri Gagarin into space—and brought him home again. The Soviets are winning the space race. President John F. Kennedy immediately begins exploring ideas to re-take the lead, settling on reaching the moon....

read more
Snyder Funeral Homes

Snyder Funeral Homes

More than 100 years ago, Ora O. Snyder worked as a horse keeper for undertaking establishments. Known as Orrie to friends and colleagues, his early exposure to funeral service consisted of accompanying the local undertaker into the family home instead of waiting...

read more

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to periodically receive article updates, industry news, and details about new issues before they are released.

The Magazine

Never miss an issue.

Subscribers receive all of our quarterly magazines by mail, as well as all exclusive content on the website.