Madelyn Waits Bryans, longtime Morgan County resident known for her “eat till it’s gone” neighborhood Friday noon dinners and as the community’s go-to person for clothing alterations and mending, died March 28 at age 91.
Madelyn — “Me-Ma” to family and friends — loved sewing, cooking, gardening and flower arranging.
For more than 40 years she cooked for family, farm employees and neighbors every Friday. Its popularity grew as word spread through the community.
“We eat till it’s gone,” she often said.
“I’m not a fancy cook. I cook basic country food. I’ve always lived in the country and always cooked from the garden.”
Squash casserole was her specialty. People often told her they used her recipe. It was even printed in the Food Section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 20 years ago — along with a feature story about her and her cooking.
Madelyn learned how to sew at age 13. Family, friends and neighbors would come by when they needed alterations for wedding or prom dresses or just regular clothes. She altered two prom dresses for her great-granddaughter, Lanie, just a month before her death.
A farmer’s daughter and a farmer’s wife, Madelyn raised her own food, with her children and grandchildren helping with the gardening, canning and freezing of their home-grown vegetables.
One of nine children, Madelyn was born in Jasper County, near Monticello, the daughter of Joseph and Ruth Waits on July 3, 1931.
She had lived on the same farm in Morgan County since 1950 after her marriage to Norris Bryans, who died in 2004.
She is survived by daughters Connie Bryans and Donna Gensler (Ralph), who both live in the Atlanta area, and her son, Carey Bryans, who lives on the family farm; four grandchildren — Mandi Allen (Chris), Claire Thompson (Chad), Chase Bryans and Will Gensler; and great-grandchildren Lanie and Broughton Allen and Raeleigh Thompson. Also, she is survived by a sister, Emily Stringfellow (Haywood) and a host of nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be on Friday, March 31st from 5 to 7 at Carter’s Funeral Home, 1670 Atlanta Highway, Madison, Georgia.
Funeral services will be at 11:00am, Saturday, April 1st at Shiloh Baptist Church, 9595 GA Highway #142, Newborn, GA.
A private burial will take place at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery fund.
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