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Salestriest Ray Bryant Obituary

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Salestriest Ray Bryant

West Haven, Connecticut

April 6, 1954 - August 5, 2022

Salestriest Ray Bryant Obituary

Salestriest Ray Bryant, aged 68 of West Haven CT, formerly of Guilford, CT and Los Angeles, CA, passed away on August 5th, 2022, surrounded by family. He was born on April 6th, 1954, in Los Angeles, CA.

Salestriest leaves behind best friend, Christina Bryant (Klopfer) and their children Salestria (David) Buckley, Nathanial Bryant, Jamaal Bryant, Alima Bryant, Joshua Bryant, Elijah (Anna) Bryant, Tacia Bryant, Christina (Yusuf) Mansaray, Kyera Bryant, Jehiel Bryant, and their 13 grandchildren. 

Salestriest also leaves behind first wife Tracy Fuller, and their son, Salestriest Bryant Jr., and 4 additional grandchildren.

Salestriest was 1 of 8 children and was predeceased by his mother Martha Walker, his father Morris Montgomery, his brothers Earnest and Joseph, and sister Darlene. He is survived by his brother Lazan, and his sisters Connie, Evette, and Earlene, as well as a large extended family, mostly in the LA area.

Early in life Saletriest developed a love for God and for music, which continued to be his main focus throughout his life. He primarily played congo drums and a very wide variety of percussive instruments, many quite unusual. Salestriest was a creative percussionist enjoying the spontaneity of playing many places and in many circumstances, an earlier favorite being on the docks of San Francisco. A preference was playing his own music whenever possible, but he also had a gift of being able to join in with most any style of music in a moment's notice. Throughout his life he played with several worship teams for various churches as well as bands. 

Upon completing high school Salestriest married Tracy Fuller and they had a son Salestriest Bryant Jr. Soon after he joined the army and was a Vietnam era Veteran, spending much of his time in service overseas stationed on The Germany/East Germany line.

Following Salestriests' return from service, his union with Tracy ended, but they remained friendly after parting ways. He went to junior college, after which he worked many jobs including the Oklahoma pipeline. When he later moved to Pittsburgh, PA he acquired a position as a salad or pantry chef at an upscale restaurant in Shadyside, called Pasta Piatto.He took great pleasure in creatively decorating and presenting a variety of food products. One regular and favorite customer, Fred Rogers of “Mr. Roger’s neighborhood,” immensely enjoyed Salestriests creations, so much so that Fred would ask him to come out for a chat and sometimes to sit with him. It was while in Pittsburgh that he met Christina (Chris) Klopfer, his future wife. For a while he played with a reggae band called “Rastafari”, but soon after joined a reggae rock band “The Core” which primarily played their own music. The Core had great success in Pittsburgh and they were soon playing throughout a large portion of Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia and Ohio. They recorded a single with 2 of their songs, “Cry Love” and “World Citizenship” and began receiving radio airplay by local radio stations. The Core had the opportunity to open up for in concert and spend time with 2 top reggae bands, “Third World” and “Burning Spear”. Both occasions were highlights for Salestriest. He continued to work full time at Pasta Piatto throughout his time with The Core. Divisions between band members eventually split up the band whereupon Salestriest joined the “Flow band” in their formative years. Soon after he and Chris moved to her hometown of Guilford CT. 

In CT, Salestriest worked many jobs in carpentry, house painting and worked many years for Hadley Inc. in maintenance. All the while, his growing family, music and the Lord remained his passions. He and Chris were briefly involved in Bethel Assembly of God, then a small home church at Dan and Jeanne Proctor's house. That church group eventually became Christ Chapel where he played on the worship team. He joined a small band Cuba Libre as percussionist for a short time. For a time he played with Iron Mangos in Torrington CT and later also played on the worship team for Gateway Christian Fellowship, and occasionally for Dwelling Place church, where he was able play alongside his grandchildren.

Salestriest had a heart for people in general and the poor and homeless in particular. He played benefits over the years with a variety of people and bands. He liked to volunteer at soup kitchens and feed people on the New Haven green with a local church. He would frequently tell people “Jesus loves you”, even signing cards and letters with “Jesus loves you”, and for those who knew him well would omit his name.

Throughout the years Salestriest instilled a love of music in his children, often playing for and with them. Most anything might become an instrument and impromptu ‘concerts’ would ensue, as well as his infamous dance parties, sometimes complete with disco ball. 

Later in life he became active in the VA in several capacities where he had many bonds. He entered many annual Veteran Arts Festival competitions in different categories such as world music and percussion. He won several awards, and when he won gold he traveled to Fayetteville Arkansas for a week where he met gold winners from around the country, culminating in a concert by all the musicians. 

In his last few years some of Salestriests best times were those spent with his family, individually and collectively, having the opportunity to deepen relations particularly with children and grandchildren.

All in all, Salestriest lived a full life, a very hard and difficult one in many respects, but God, family, music and love saw him through, with a faith evident even in his last moments.

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Salestriest Ray Bryant hosted by Keenan Funeral Home.

Salestriest Ray Bryant, aged 68 of West Haven CT, formerly of Guilford, CT and Los Angeles, CA, passed away on August 5th, 2022, surrounded by family. He was born on April 6th, 1954, in Los Angeles, CA.

Salestriest leaves behind best friend, Christina Bryant (Klopfer) and their children Salestria (David) Buckley, Nathanial Bryant, Jamaal Bryant, Alima Bryant, Joshua Bryant, Elijah (Anna) Bryant, Tacia Bryant, Christina (Yusuf) Mansaray, Kyera Bryant, Jehiel Bryant, and their 13 grandchildren. 

Salestriest also leaves behind first wife Tracy Fuller, and their son, Salestriest Bryant Jr., and 4 additional grandchildren.

Salestriest was 1 of 8 children and was predeceased by his mother Martha Walker, his father Morris Montgomery, his brothers Earnest and Joseph, and sister Darlene. He is survived by his brother Lazan, and his sisters Connie, Evette, and Earlene, as well as a large extended family, mostly in the LA area.

Early in life Saletriest developed a love for God and for music, which continued to be his main focus throughout his life. He primarily played congo drums and a very wide variety of percussive instruments, many quite unusual. Salestriest was a creative percussionist enjoying the spontaneity of playing many places and in many circumstances, an earlier favorite being on the docks of San Francisco. A preference was playing his own music whenever possible, but he also had a gift of being able to join in with most any style of music in a moment's notice. Throughout his life he played with several worship teams for various churches as well as bands. 

Upon completing high school Salestriest married Tracy Fuller and they had a son Salestriest Bryant Jr. Soon after he joined the army and was a Vietnam era Veteran, spending much of his time in service overseas stationed on The Germany/East Germany line.

Following Salestriests' return from service, his union with Tracy ended, but they remained friendly after parting ways. He went to junior college, after which he worked many jobs including the Oklahoma pipeline. When he later moved to Pittsburgh, PA he acquired a position as a salad or pantry chef at an upscale restaurant in Shadyside, called Pasta Piatto.He took great pleasure in creatively decorating and presenting a variety of food products. One regular and favorite customer, Fred Rogers of “Mr. Roger’s neighborhood,” immensely enjoyed Salestriests creations, so much so that Fred would ask him to come out for a chat and sometimes to sit with him. It was while in Pittsburgh that he met Christina (Chris) Klopfer, his future wife. For a while he played with a reggae band called “Rastafari”, but soon after joined a reggae rock band “The Core” which primarily played their own music. The Core had great success in Pittsburgh and they were soon playing throughout a large portion of Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia and Ohio. They recorded a single with 2 of their songs, “Cry Love” and “World Citizenship” and began receiving radio airplay by local radio stations. The Core had the opportunity to open up for in concert and spend time with 2 top reggae bands, “Third World” and “Burning Spear”. Both occasions were highlights for Salestriest. He continued to work full time at Pasta Piatto throughout his time with The Core. Divisions between band members eventually split up the band whereupon Salestriest joined the “Flow band” in their formative years. Soon after he and Chris moved to her hometown of Guilford CT. 

In CT, Salestriest worked many jobs in carpentry, house painting and worked many years for Hadley Inc. in maintenance. All the while, his growing family, music and the Lord remained his passions. He and Chris were briefly involved in Bethel Assembly of God, then a small home church at Dan and Jeanne Proctor's house. That church group eventually became Christ Chapel where he played on the worship team. He joined a small band Cuba Libre as percussionist for a short time. For a time he played with Iron Mangos in Torrington CT and later also played on the worship team for Gateway Christian Fellowship, and occasionally for Dwelling Place church, where he was able play alongside his grandchildren.

Salestriest had a heart for people in general and the poor and homeless in particular. He played benefits over the years with a variety of people and bands. He liked to volunteer at soup kitchens and feed people on the New Haven green with a local church. He would frequently tell people “Jesus loves you”, even signing cards and letters with “Jesus loves you”, and for those who knew him well would omit his name.

Throughout the years Salestriest instilled a love of music in his children, often playing for and with them. Most anything might become an instrument and impromptu ‘concerts’ would ensue, as well as his infamous dance parties, sometimes complete with disco ball. 

Later in life he became active in the VA in several capacities where he had many bonds. He entered many annual Veteran Arts Festival competitions in different categories such as world music and percussion. He won several awards, and when he won gold he traveled to Fayetteville Arkansas for a week where he met gold winners from around the country, culminating in a concert by all the musicians. 

In his last few years some of Salestriests best times were those spent with his family, individually and collectively, having the opportunity to deepen relations particularly with children and grandchildren.

All in all, Salestriest lived a full life, a very hard and difficult one in many respects, but God, family, music and love saw him through, with a faith evident even in his last moments.

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Salestriest Ray Bryant hosted by Keenan Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Salestriest Ray Bryant.