Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Loss and Legacy

I’ve been away from my blog for the past few weeks…  At the beginning of this month, we experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy; my husband's Dad was hit and killed by a car during his morning bike ride on July 4th.  I will never ever forget that day, and words cannot begin to describe the loss of such a wonderful man.  Our hearts ache with grief, and I know that we, along with many others, will continue to miss his presence in our lives each day that we walk this earth.

The caring bridge website has many touching tributes to Bryan, if you would like to visit and read.  Below is the obituary that Matt wrote for his Dad:

Bryan Morgan, 52, of Marietta, died July 4, 2011 as a result of a bicycling accident.  To Bryan, a morning bike ride was the perfect start to any holiday.

Bryan was born in Jackson, Mississippi on December 19, 1958 and grew up in Mississippi, California, and Pennsylvania before attending Drexel University in Philadelphia.  He has lived in North Atlanta for the past 30 years, and his business career has involved several stops including C&S Bank, Async, Interserv, Self Test Software, and Certiport.  Always one who loved a challenge, Bryan was involved in multiple start-up ventures that required him to wear many hats.  He often said that he was a “jack of all trades and master of none,” but anyone who interacted with him knew that he was a master of people.  Bryan’s incredible gift to make others laugh and ease an uncomfortable situation drew people to himself; his genuine care and concern were always evident.  The relationships that were most important to Bryan, a true family man, were with the love of his life, Julie, and with his children and grandchildren. 

Bryan’s greatest love was for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  His life’s goal was to glorify God through his actions, words, and deeds.  He talked often of Heaven and the incredible experience it would be to one day see his Savior face to face.  Bryan’s life was focused on living in such a way as to make the greatest impact on eternity.

Bryan is survived by his wife, Julie; son Matthew and daughter-in-law, Danielle; son, Andrew and daughter-in-law, Emily; daughter, Katie; son, Zach; son, Jonathan; mother, Betty Morgan; sister, Edith Ann Morgan; and four grandchildren.

Bryan was preceded in death by his father, Richard Bryan Morgan, Jr.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 9th at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia.  Details can be found at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Beltline Bicycle Shop, a ministry to Atlanta’s at-risk urban youth.  750 Glenwood Avenue, SE Atlanta, GA 30316.

We spent the week following the accident in a blur of shock and grief as we all came together as a family to grieve, receive friends and family, and walk through logistics of planning the memorial service and accompanying details.  We were blown away by the many acts of kindness as friends surrounded and supported our family with meals, errands, childcare, prayers, and loving words.  Matt and I have commented to one another on several occasions that we have a whole new understanding of what it means to walk beside people in crisis as a result of the ways we have been so well-loved through this time.  We are deeply grateful.

Bryan’s Memorial service was an amazing celebration of his life, and of the Savior he staked his life upon.  We worshipped with a few of his favorite songs, clapping loudly as we sang because that is what Bryan would have done.  My brother-in-law, Zach, sang a beautiful song in accompaniment to a slideshow of Bryan’s (his Dad’s) life.  Bryan’s friends delivered moving and heartfelt tributes to him, and then his children spoke in powerful testimony of their Dad, each telling of how he loved and lived well.  We ended the tributes with a standing ovation, cheering for Bryan’s life—a race well run in pursuit of Jesus Christ.  The service lasted for three hours, but it seems that the time was considered well-spent for those who attended.  Our dear friend Lauren wrote a beautiful blog about my father-in-law’s memorial service, “A life Well Lived.”  Friends have commented that the celebration of Bryan’s life was “unbelievable,” and even “life-changing.”  Several men have told Matt that his Father’s legacy has inspired them to alter the way they live and parent.  That is a true tribute, which I know means the world to Matt and his family.

This is the worship song that concluded the memorial, “Revelation Song.”  It is a powerful song, which looks to and celebrates our eternal worship of the “Only Wise King, who was and is and is to come…”

Husband of 30 years to Julie.
Dad to Matthew, Andrew, Katie, Zach, and Jonathan.
…and to “daughters-in-love” Danielle and Emily.
Son of Dick and Betty Morgan.
Brother to Edith Ann.
“Pops” to Cole, Gavin, Reed, and Kendall.
Friend to many.
Devoted Christ-follower, who ran a good race…
And finished well…
Bryan Morgan

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come.” – Hebrews 13:14

We miss you and love you, “Pops.”


  1. weeping...great blog-Em

  2. *In tears.* I've been heartbroken for you guys since I heard. What a beautiful tribute.

  3. B. and I were so saddened by this news. We have been praying for you both. When you are up for it, we would love to visit or have you over. I have been blown away by Matt's strength to keep all the inquiring eyes informed and by all of the wonderful things I have read about your father-in-law! We love you!

  4. Danielle- What a sweet post. We have grieved with you and it still brings tears to my eyes looking at the picture of Bryan and Reed. Love you sis!