Robert Dwayne Bryant, Jr., age 23, passed away at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital on July 29, 2020.
DJ was born November 26, 1996, to Robert Dwayne Bryant and Amy Beth McCullagh Bryant. He is survived by his loving parents, siblings Zakayla, Torin, Samara, Tristan, Zoey, Koda, Ky Shon, fiancé Shannon, grandparents Ron and Mary Beth McCullagh, aunts, uncles and cousins. Preceding him in death were grandparents Robert and Fay Timmy Bryant.
DJ was a fun-loving sports fan and outdoor enthusiast. He drew his strength from his family, friends and work, and was the first to acknowledge the importance of the mentors in his life.
One of those mentors was Eric Butler, a Mesa police detective. As a young Mesa Police Explorer, DJ would ride with Butler, who remembers DJ’s “infectious smile and goals to become a police officer and an MP. Very compassionate, very kind and very giving, He’s what every officer strives to be. He was a fantastic person.”
He served as a Phoenix Police officer since 2017 in his civilian life, and as a member of the 850th Military Police Battalion with the Arizona Army National Guard since 2013. He enlisted at the age of 17, served as an MP, was commissioned through the Arizona State University ROTC program and held a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from ASU. He was a Minuteman Scholar and recipient of the Army Achievement medal, National Defense Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. “Lieutenant Bryant was a well-respected officer,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Noel Chun, 850th Battalion Commander. “He always wanted to be a police officer and an MP, and it showed in his actions. He was a very motivated Soldier, and we will miss him.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in DJ’s name to Mesa Police Explorers, c/o Mesa Police Department. Viewing will take place Friday August 7th, 2020, at Gilbert Memorial Park Cemetery & Funeral Home, 2100 East Queen Creek Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297, (friends and family from 9:00AM -12:00 noon, military and police from 1:00-4PM). Masks required.
A private interment will follow on Saturday August 8th, 2020.