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Leo Edward Bryant Jr. (Ed) of Evanston, age 78, died unexpectedly on Sept. 20 at Evanston Hospital. Ed was the loving husband of Kathleen (Kay) Bryant (deceased) who was his high school sweetheart at Stephen Decatur High School in Decatur, Ill.
Ed is survived by his three daughters, Laura (Greg Ugolini), Diane (Skip Childress), and Emily, as well as two grandchildren, Sydney and Miles. Also surviving are his brothers Mike, Tom and Jim Bryant, as well as in-laws, Barbie Unser, Geoff Buck, and Michael Buck. Finally, he is survived by many close friends who will miss his mentorship, bass fishing guidance and friendship.
Ed was born in Olney, Illinois to Leo and Harriet Bryant but grew up in Decatur. He entered Northwestern University in 1959, following his wife Kay, and to this day continued to support Northwestern, Delta Tau Delta, and Students Publishing Company (The Daily Northwestern).
As a matter of fact, he has been a football season ticket holder since 1963 and attended home games and viewed away games. He graduated in 1963 with his journalism degree and continued on to graduate from Northwestern University School of Law in 1967 obtaining his Juris Doctor.
He has represented healthcare providers and professionals since then, when he became a partner with Gardner Carton & Douglas, founding the firm’s Health Law Department in 1979. He has published and spoken widely within the health industry and to the health law bar.
He was on the faculty for seven years at both the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern as well as Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, where he was the namesake of the L. Edward Bryant, Jr. National Health Law Transactional Competition.
In 1985 he was named as one of the outstanding health lawyers in the country by the National Law Journal and then again in 1991 by the Illinois Legal Times, and again in 1991 by Chicago Lawyer. As an alumnus of Northwestern, he held numerous leadership roles including being the founding president of the Northwestern Young Alumni Council, president of the Delta Tau Delta Alumni Board and director of the NU Students Publishing Company.
He was proud to say he was an Evanston resident for 61 years and appreciated the diversity and community spirit, especially the 4th of July parades. Besides his professional roles, he loved freshwater fishing, reading, camping, singing, crossword puzzles, going to the theater, playing cards and games, writing poetry and music, botany and carpentry.
Ed’s dignity, compassion, commitment to excellence and his passion for teaching made him an amazing lawyer. His intelligence, wisdom, savvy, integrity, service and kindness, all touched with a generous sense of humor, made him an amazing father, grandfather and man. Family was a priority to him, often spending weekends with them at Rock Haven (aka: The Purple Palace).
His death has placed an enormous hole in the hearts of those he mentored, trained, helped and loved. The family is planning a small memorial in order to celebrate his wonderful life. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the memorial service will be invitation only. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Ed’s memory to a charity of your choice or St. Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital or The Chordoma Foundation. Info: www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847)675-1990.