Carolyn Martin “Cammy” Bryan, 76, died Friday, May 26, 2023.

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Carolyn Martin “Cammy” Bryan, 76, passed away with acute myeloid leukemia at the Cedarfield retirement community on Friday morning, May 26, 2023. Her husband, daughter, and son were with her in her final hours.

Born on Oct. 26, 1946, in Lebanon, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Joseph Edgar Martin and Carolyn Evans Martin. In her youth, Cammy first lived in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Davidson, N.C., but home for her was Lexington. Her father was a math professor at the Virginia Military Institute, and Cammy and her brother, Joe Jr., had a unique childhood, with a home on the VMI post. Cammy’s friends from her childhood and high school years were friends for a lifetime. A shared lunch outing with many of them about a month before her death was a true bright spot.

Cammy grew up around VMI cadets, and started dating some as she grew older. One December, when she was home from Mary Baldwin College, her father had invited cadets from Tennessee to their home for dinner, and she met Charles “Charlie” Faulkner Bryan Jr., who was at that time failing Major Martin’s math class. Although he did fail the class (or, perhaps, because of it!), Charlie caught Cammy’s eye, and they were married a year after she graduated from Mary Baldwin and weeks after he graduated from VMI. Their 54th wedding anniversary would have been this June 14.

Their married life was a wonderful adventure as Charlie steadily advanced through graduate school, with a side trip to the Army, and into a career as a prominent public historian. They lived in Athens, Ga., Ft. Knox, Ky. (where they welcomed their daughter, Alethea), Knoxville, Tenn. (where they welcomed their son, Charles III), Nashville, Tenn., back to Knoxville, St. Louis, Mo., finally settling in Richmond in 1988.

Cammy made dear friends everywhere she went, and first her address book, and later her Facebook feed, reflected this. She never lost interest in what her friends far and wide were up to, and had a steel-trap mind for remembering the names, interests, and careers of her friends, their children, and their grandchildren. People were important to her. In Richmond, her exceptional volunteer service at Westminster Canterbury led to her being given the Lettie Pate Evans Award in the mid-1990s. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, she worked hard to spread the word about signs and symptoms of the disease and met still more lifelong friends through Cancer Dancer.

While her children lived at home, they were always Cammy’s first priority, but once they had flown the coop, she overcame a fear of flying, and she and Charlie enjoyed worldwide travel with trips to the Caribbean, South Pacific, China and Europe. They happened to be in London during Princess Diana’s funeral, and through sheer luck, were right across the street when the Queen and Royal Family stepped outside of Buckingham Palace to pay their respects to the princess.

However, while the location wasn’t exotic, and the Royal Family never appeared, Cammy’s favorite place to travel was Holden Beach, N.C. Beginning in 1982, and for nearly every summer since, Cammy and Charlie would spend a week at the beach with family friends from Nashville. Sadly, Cammy won’t be able to join the crew at Holden this year, but since Cammy’s AML diagnosis last fall, dear beach friends Hal and Charlene McDonough have made the 9-hour drive from Nashville three times to bring the beach spirit to her. Charlene left a piece of the beach with Cammy to have in her final days.

Cammy loved Coca Cola, British murder mysteries (whether televised or in book form), shopping (she had a keen sense of fashion and the right outfit for every occasion), and playing puzzle games on her iPad. But she loved none of these things more than her dear Corgi, Katy. Katy is one of two corgis to share her life with Cammy (she was preceded by Sherry). Katy was a loyal companion and a great comfort to Cammy,

Seventeen years ago we would have written that her children were her pride and joy. But since 2006, they have been surpassed by her grandchildren. Graham, Jackson, and Olivia were the apples of her eye, and if anyone has shared any time with Cammy in recent years, they have surely heard all about their exploits.

She is predeceased by her parents, Joe and Carolyn: and her brother, Joseph Edgar Martin, Jr. She is survived by her husband, Charlie; daughter, Alethea Gerding (Glenn) of Chapel Hill, NC; son, Charles Bryan III (Angela) of Tacoma, WA; and three grandchildren, Graham and Jackson Gerding and Olivia Bryan.

Services in memory of Cammy will be held on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church,

12291 River Road, Richmond, VA
, with a reception to follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MD Anderson ( or the Massey Cancer Center at VCU (


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