Samuel Bell O’Bryant, Sr. beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and cousin passed away peacefully on Monday, February 20, 2023, at the age of 93. He is survived by his children Patricia Salamone (South Boston, MA), Samuel (Marleen) O'Bryant Jr. (Valrico, FL), and Theresa O'Bryant (Mattapan, MA); grandchildren Stephen Aviles, Christine Petrin, Jesse Landry Jr., Brittney O'Bryant, Brandon O'Bryant, and Joseph O’Bryant Prince; great-grandchildren Cassidy, Jaime, Mylie, Corey, Amelia-Rose, and Raelyn; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and other relatives and friends.
Samuel is preceded in death by his spouse Margaret Patricia O’Bryant. Samuel and Patricia were civil rights trailblazers on their own at a time when their beloved union was illegal in several states and prior to 1967 Loving v. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriage violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Samuel embraced and loved his blended family. He is also preceded in death by his parents George and Elsie (Donaldson) Joseph; siblings Frances O’Bryant, Cora Haines, identical twin Manuel O’Bryant, and John D. O’Bryant; son Michael Murphy; and great-grandson David Lampron.
Samuel was born on May 17, 1929, in Boston, MA. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1947. Along with his twin brother Manuel, he graduated from Northeastern University, Boston, MA in 1951 with a degree in Pharmacy and later earned a master’s in business administration from Northeastern in 1964. They were the first African-Americans to earn this graduate degree from Northeastern.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed with the medical Corps at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. He is a former retail pharmacy owner/operator with his brother Manuel and was a practicing registered Pharmacist for three decades. Samuel also had a 30-year progressive civil service with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Dept. of Employment and Training; previously called the Division of Employment Security. In 1992, he retired from that department, where during the last 15 years, he spent five years as a supervising employment office manager at Lowell and Newton; and in his final 10 years, the position of administrative Appeals Hearings Officer.
Samuel was an active and dedicated member of the Grant A.M.E. Church when he lived in Boston, MA where he served as a Steward, a member of the organized Lay persons, and a Boy Scout Advisor.
In lieu of flowers or cards, the family asks that anyone wishing to contribute to his memory please make donations to Agassiz Village Summer Camp and/or to his Grant A.M.E. Church family.
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