‘-Jean or “Becky” was the second daughter of Agnes Schuneman Felepe and Henry Felepe.
-Jean Rebecca was born on 9/18/1922 in the front bedroom at 56 S. Gove Street in Hutchinson, MN. at 1:45PM. Dr. P. Ernest Shepherd did the delivery. At Becky’s birth Agnes was 32 and Henry was 40.
-Agnes and Henry had hoped to hold out until the new Hutchinson Hospital opened on 10/1/1922, but their plan did not work out.
-According to Becky, “My full name is Jean Rebecca Felepe Bryant. My Mother was not too fond of the name “Jean”. I believe it was a request from my Father to include that name at my baptism at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Hutchinson. Consequently, I have been called “Becky” and used J. Rebecca Felepe on all legal papers, documents, etc.”
-Jean was an excellent student during her school days in Hutchinson and graduated in June of 1940.
-While in high school Becky was very involved in several fine arts activities. She was a member of the Girl’s Glee Club and participated in concerts. Becky was a First Soprano and sang several solos in concert including “Trees” and “Ave Maria”. Becky also acted in both the Junior and Senior Class Plays. During her Junior year she played the lead character Terry McIntyre in the play “Growing Pains”. During her Senior year she also had a major role as one of the children of the well to do family in the play “The New Poor.”
-After graduation from high school Becky attended Hamline University for her freshman year. In her sophomore year she transferred to the University of Minnesota.
-While in college at the U of M, Becky made the headlines in the Minneapolis paper. She was walking with her boyfriend near the Great Northern Railroad tracks on the University campus when a fire broke out. She stepped right out of her new size five high-heeled dubonnet suede pumps she had bought with her No. 18 ration stamp and her and her boyfriend ran at a quick pace to avoid the oil tank that was on the verge of exploding. After the incident she made two trips back to the scene of the fire, but failed to locate the shoes which she wanted to wear to the University Business Women’s Club Luncheon at which she would be presiding. After the publication, Becky received 22 #18 stamps from readers of the article and did appear in a new pair of shoes at the luncheon and shared the rest of the ration stamps with her friends.
-Becky lived on campus at 1100 Fifth Street SE.
-Becky graduated from the U of M in June of 1944 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (Industrial Engineering).
-Becky went to work for the Munsingwear Company in Minnesota as an “Industrial Engineer” after graduation.
-According to Becky, “There were only two of us females who graduated in 1944 who broke the “Glass Ceiling” at Munsingwear and were hired as Industrial Engineers.” However, the job was not without challenges from her male contemporaries. In 1945 Becky was sent to Albert Lea, MN. to research the viability of setting up a satellite plant there instead of Minneapolis in order to have a friendlier atmosphere with less labor problems to contend with. The Ladies Garment Union was becoming extremely militant at the time. It was determined to be a feasible plan and a plant was subsequently established there. The plant was not unionized.
-The winter of 1945/1946 was a very cold winter with humongous snow storms that really made Becky wonder why she had decided to stay in Minnesota while her sister, Mary Venetta, was basking in shorts or a swim suit by her backyard pool in California. When Easter arrived in 1946, Becky arranged to take her vacation time in California visiting her sister. Becky was like the “Man-who-came-to-diner” and never left. She resigned her position at Munsingwear and stayed in California.
-Becky took a secretarial job with a start-up heating company in Temple, CA.
-During the summer of 1946 Becky met her future husband Warren Bryant and they decided to start their own Heating and Air Conditioning Company in San Gabriel, CA.
-Becky and Warren were not romantically involved at first, just business partners. However, by 1953 they decided to change the partnership to a marriage.
-On 4/12/1953 Jean was married to Warren O. Bryant (B.5/19/1921in Arlington, TX.) in Las Vegas. Her sister Mary Venetta and her husband William served as the maid of honor and best man.
-Warren Oval Bryant was the son of Raymond and Ollie Mae Bryant. When he was two years old the family, which consisted of Warren and his sister Opal, moved to Highland Park, California (East of Los Angeles). Both of Warren’s parents and sister are deceased.
-Warren graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, CA. in 1939. He worked for the Los Angles Examiner until called into the military service during World War II. Warren was in the Army and served in the European Theater (North Africa and Italy).
-They would run their own company, Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning, which they are still operating together today.
-To quote Becky, “Warren always said if he married me, we could eliminate my paycheck. However, that didn’t work out that way. I got both of the paychecks (Early Woman’s Lib).”
-Today Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning is a well-established company serving the year-round comfort needs of homeowners, business and industry in the San Gabriel Valley. The Bryant organization is very stable and has a reputation for doing excellent work and standing by the work they do.
-Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning is highly respected in both the business and general community.
-Warren and Becky run a business that stresses personalized service. To quote Warren and Becky, “Every job we do is important to us. We have found much of our business has come from people who have heard good things about us from a friend or neighbor. We install every heating and air conditiong system as though our future depended on it. It does. We make sure the job will be the beginning of a lasting friendship. We won’t be satisfied with our work until we are sure our customer is!”
-Becky and Warren have based their business on four basic essentials. First they believe in consultation and design to suit the customer’s most exacting needs. Second, they employ precession engineering to assure total perfection at the lowest possible cost. Third, they believe in quality installation of only the finest equipment. Lastly, Bryant stands behind every job with quality service.
-Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning is located at 1350 E. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA. 91776. Telephone: 626-286-1141 or 323-283-8101.
-Becky and Warren’s hobbies and interests include boating, foreign travel and the theater.
-Warren and Becky have owned two boats. The first one was a Thirty-four foot Fairliner named the Becky Anne. They ultimately sold the Becky Anne to some people that belonged to their boating club. Next, they bought a Thirty-five foot Fairliner named The Warbeck. In 2001 they donated the boat to the Boy Scouts of America.
-To quote Becky, “The wag who said the happiest days in their lives were when they bought their first boat and when they sold their last boat was right on.”
-Warren and Becky’s daughter Becky fondly remembers the trips on the boat that the family took while she was growing up – they were so much fun!
-Each year Becky and Warren take two foreign trips. Their two favorite places to visit are London and Switzerland.
To quote Becky, “We have been very fortunate to see most of the important areas of the world. However, there is nothing finer nor more beautiful than our priceless United States of America. We have generally not done much traveling in our home country, but plan on changing that.”
-Becky and her family have always been Republicans. Her favorite politicians are Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. She was most impressed with President Bush’s ability to lead the country after 9/11 and during the 27-Day War with Iraq.
-Warren is also a die-hard fan of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. He also enjoys playing golf with his brother in law Bill Luther.
-Jean and Warren have one daughter, Rebecca Anne Bryant (B.5/17/1956 in Arcadia, CA).
-Rebecca Anne works as a medical administrator today at Shea Hospital in Scottsdale, AR.
-Jean and Warren can be reached at 1719 Grace Avenue/Arcadia, CA. 91006 626-447-5722 [email protected]
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