Judy Bryant

Judith Bryant was a petite, feisty woman who swore like a sailor and had a wicked stubborn streak.

“She was a pistol, that’s for sure,” said her daughter-in-law, Kelly Bazinet of Bangor. “She was a teeny, tiny thing, but not in personality. She didn’t have an indoor voice. You always knew where she was. She was a force to be reckoned with. She really was.”

Bryant, a loving mother who lived life to its fullest, died Oct. 17 from complications of COVID-19. She was 82.

At the time of her death, she was one of 92 Mainers to have died from COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bryant received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. She tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago while living at Westgate Center for Rehabilitation & Alzheimer’s Care in Bangor.

Her family praised the staff at Westgate for their compassion and care.

“The staff cried when she died. They are truly amazing people,” her daughter-in-law said. “Towards the end, it got so sad. It’s heartbreaking. It means everything to know she is no longer saddled with that baggage anymore. She’s free.”

A native of Lewiston, Bryant graduated from Lewiston High School. In her early years, she married Robert Bazinet and raised two sons. Her second husband, Jim Bryant, died in 1991.

Bryant was remembered by her family last week as a loving and independent woman who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Her daughter-in-law said she was always put together and had a slight obsession with silver and gold shoes.

“Everything was coordinated,” she said. “God forbid she should leave the house if she didn’t have matching socks and shoes. It was a big deal. If she had an appointment on a windy day she didn’t want to go because it would mess up her hair. She was a beautiful woman. At the same time, Judy, who was so put together, could take a dirty joke like no one’s business. She wasn’t this uptight prim and proper person. She knew how to have fun.”

Her daughter-in-law laughed, reminiscing about the night they played the party game Cards Against Humanity.

“She had no idea when she sat down what she was playing,” she said. “Her eyes opened wide once we started. She had the time of her life that night. We did, too. She made it so much fun for all of us.”

Bryant was the type of woman who thrived in social settings. She worked in retail clothing stores throughout her life. She also volunteered at the front desk at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor for 10 years.

“It gave her a sense of purpose,” her daughter-in-law said. “She loved it there. The people were so good to her.”

Bryant loved being with family and cooking for them. She was known for her brownies, cretons and Sunday pot roast dinners.

She faced some some health challenges in her later years, including dementia.

“She was loving, independent and stubborn,” said her son, Steve Bazinet of Westbrook. “When she set her mind to something, there was no quit. Some of the stuff she overcame was amazing.”

Maine has reported 7,764 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 through Oct. 21, compared to 65,194 total cases, since Maine residents could be fully vaccinated, according to the Maine CDC. Breakthrough cases represent about 12 percent of cases in Maine, and are typically milder than a case in unvaccinated people. About one in four deaths are among breakthrough cases, although typically when people die of a breakthrough case, the patients have underlying medical conditions that make them susceptible to severe COVID-19, public health experts have said.

Staff Writer Joe Lawlor contributed to this report.

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