Virginia Fern Tanner Bryan, 94, Richmond, died Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

Virginia was born March 8, 1925, in Richmond, the daughter of Paul Washington and Ruby Belle (Stevinson) Tanner. She was united in marriage to William Bradford Bryan of Henrietta on July 29, 1946; he preceded her in death Nov. 13, 1988.

Virginia was reared and educated in the area of her birth, graduating from Richmond High School in 1942. She received her teacher’s certificate from William Jewell College in Liberty and began teaching at 18-years-old. Virginia first taught in the area’s rural schools - Hunt, White, Elkhorn, Stet, and Camden School Districts, before moving to the Richmond School District, where she taught for the rest of her career of over 50 years. Virginia was the first inductee of the Richmond School District Wall of Honor for her dedication and abilities in teaching kids in the area. Virginia retired, but she still volunteered to teach and tutored students who needed the extra help. Teaching was her passion.

Virginia was an active church member at the First Baptist Church in Richmond, where she taught Sunday school until she lost her eye sight.

Survivors include: daughter, Sarah Coffer Keen of Richmond; brother, Kenneth Wayne Tanner of Richmond; sister, Joan Dice of Liberty; 11 grandchildren, Mike Bryan, Renee Harr, Angela K. Bryan, Russell (Kathy) Smithson, Darryl Smithson, Doug Smithson, Chris (Kelly) Coffer, Andy (Robin) Coffer, Bryan (Shelly) Coffer, John Keen and Jay Keen; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; daughter-in-law, Rita Bryan; and many nephews, nieces and cousins all survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Paul William Bryan; great-granddaughter, Amber Nicole Bryan; brother and sister-in-law, Oswald and Mary Louise Tanner; son-in-law J.R. Keen; and brother-in-law, Henry Dice.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the First Baptist Church of Richmond. They can be left at or mailed to Thurman Funeral Home, 507 E. Main St. – P.O. Box 190, Richmond, MO 64085.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at the First Baptist Church in Richmond. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond.

Burial will be in Richmond Memory Gardens. Online condolences may be left at

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