Gerald “Buggy” Bryant: ‘He was always the helper’
Gerald Bryant, Jr. was a hardworking man who loved his family. As the youngest of four siblings – all sisters – he was outnumbered and overpowered by them while growing up, but he later emerged as ‘the life of the party’ – the person everyone wanted in their corner.
He was a local rap legend in his hometown of Tacoma, Wash. He went by the name “YG Slept” and has hundreds of songs and several videos showcasing his talents and love of the spotlight.
Gerald is survived by his seven children whom he loved dearly. He always saw himself as their protector, pushing them forward in school and instilling a strong work ethic.
He was also a natural athlete. His mom, Juanita Olivas, said that Gerald could pick up a ball, a trade, any task and easily master it. She described him as persistent, he never gave up.
Though he had many passions – family, sports, music – he is most known for his love and devotion to helping people. His sister, Sheana Bodie, remembers the last snowstorm. She laughed as she recalled her daughter calling to say “I’m out here with Uncle Buggy. He’s pulling people out of ditches, so who knows when we’ll get home.” Gerald later said it just didn’t feel right to leave anyone out in the storm.
“Buggy” was Gerald’s nickname, given to him at birth by his mom for his big brown eyes. “You’re going to be my little Buggy man,” she said when she first saw him. The nickname stuck.
Juanita knew her son would want to save lives through organ donation. “It just feels right in my heart,” she said. In fact, Gerald saved five lives with the donation of his heart, lungs, kidneys and pancreas.
“He didn’t have much,” said Sheana. “But we know that’s something he would have been proud of. That he IS proud of.”
Gerald was gone too soon. His family still grieves his loss like it was yesterday. They have not yet connected with Gerald’s organ recipients but knowing that these people are thriving and back with their families is something that brings them peace. When the time is right, they plan to reach out to the recipients as part of their healing process.
“There are parts of my son walking around out there,” Juanita said. “It makes me proud.” She also shared that one day she hopes to hear the beat of her son’s generous heart once again.
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