Bryan Knight McCarty, 77, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 6, 2022, with Linda at his side. Bryan was born in Omaha, Nebraska on January 9, 1945, son of the late Melvin and Adeline McCarty. Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bryan excelled in debate, theater, tennis, chess, woodworking and drawing. He illustrated textbooks and had a great love for the performing arts which earned him the offer of a full theater scholarship at Wesleyan University.
As a lifelong Husker, Bryan chose to attend and graduated from the University of Nebraska where he served as Theta Chi fraternity president. His love for Astronomy led to doing the artwork for the university planetarium and writing for and performing at the university planetarium. His artwork remained on display for many years. His strong voice could be clearly understood from the farthest corners of the auditorium.
As a 1970 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School he was honored to be part of the Vanderbilt Law Review. After graduation Bryan joined the United States Air Force where he was admitted to the U.S. Court of Military Appeals and honorably served until 1974. Bryan returned to Nashville to private practice then to become the first staff attorney and General Counsel for the Tennessee Education Association. He was proud to have written the original collective bargaining law for the state's educators. He was an honorable and tenacious advocate who dedicated his life's work to the pursuit of justice and equality.
Retirement brought more time to enjoy favorite hobbies, his wife Linda, his dog Cheeto and his friends. He enjoyed collecting pottery. And, he got his first paid acting work with Nashville the popular TV series. Bryan thought his favorite sweater made it possible. He never cashed the checks. Bryan loved to entertain and to make people laugh. He always said the world needs more laughter. Bryan had a passion for food and cooking so Linda made sure he had everything he needed to make it enjoyable-and he didn't need to do the clean up. They enjoyed doing desserts together for friends.
Bryan was a true foodie and enjoyed an old Scotch or a full-bodied Cabernet while telling great stories with friends. Bryan loved The Christmas Carol and hated The Sound of Music. He loved the Blue Man Group, John Connolly, Harry Chapin, Neil Diamond, the Eagles, Prince, Tangerine Dream, Keb Mo, George Winston, Jesse Cook, Elton John and Leon Bridges. He loved Santa Fe, Asheville, Napa Valley, Carmel, Hilton Head and Colorado. He looked forward to seeing his wonderful neighbors and taking Cheeto for long walks.
Bryan was not judgmental. He was patient, determined, disciplined and kind. He was a Renaissance man who loved flowers especially cactus, day lilies and amaryllis. He could always spot a hawk soaring, a cardinal glowing in the holly or a smart raven plotting its next adventure.
He was creative in so many ways. He created an underground newsletter called The Tombstone while with the TEA that staff looked forward to reading.
Ever the believer in the rights and responsibilities of people and our Constitution's protections, Bryan was a friend to Common Cause, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Bryan was known for his brilliant mind, his dry sense of humor and his honest opinion -they all will be severely missed. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend Linda, his next best friend Cheeto; special friends; his son Kerry McCarty (Tina) and their son Sam; his brother Kevin McCarty (Dawn); sister Cristy (Doug) McAbee; nieces and nephews.