Darlene Dowell Bryant, our precious mother, Meme & Grammy, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Monday, October 19, 2020.

Darlene was born in Lumberton, NC to Taylor and Blanche Dowell, and raised in Wilmington, NC with her sisters. A dedicated mother first and foremost she treasured her children, and especially loved her role as Meme and Grammy. She had an amazing enthusiasm, optimism and energy for life. No matter what, she was always genuine, always true to herself and always happy and fun. Darlene was one of a kind; to know her was to love her.

Darlene was an entrepreneur at heart, a self-employed accountant and bookkeeper while her children were young. She was later the proud owner and operator of Fashions II and Shoes and Things in downtown North Wilkesboro for 30 years. Being the people person she was, she thoroughly enjoyed helping her loyal customers, many of whom were more friends than customers. The business was a family affair as her late husband, Will, and all her three children played a part in different aspects of the business. Her daughter, Lisa, worked alongside her in the stores for 15 years. It was a season of love and cherished family memories with “Meme” and “Papa”. They helped Lisa raise her daughter, Amanda, amidst the joyful and often chaotic times of the retail world. Family was everything to Will and Darlene. Will, who preceded her in death in 2000, was the love of her life.

She was the loving mother of John Thomas Winfree, and wife Helen, Lee Bryant and Lisa Darlene Bryant Sears; the adored Meme and Grammy of Bryan Lee Winfree and wife Heather, Amanda Darlene Sears, and Ashley Darlene Bryant Whitham and husband James; the loving great grandmother of Levi and Kynlee Winfree; and the cherished sister of Wanda Lewis and the late Marie Luther. She also leaves behind dear friends, Marie Lenderman and Sam Johnson.

Darlene will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts, as she is now in the presence of Our Lord and Savior. A graveside service will be held Thursday, October 22nd at 12:00 p.m. at Baptist Home Baptist Church Cemetery in North Wilkesboro with Rev. Chuck Milian officiating. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-9956. Miller Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.

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