NORWALK, Conn. — Marija Bryant, a Norwalk activist and political leader, died suddenly Saturday.
Bryant was the wife of Norwalk Preservation Trust President Tod Bryant and had just been re-elected First Taxing District Commissioner. She was active in the Coalition of Norwalk Neighborhoods Association (CNNA), recently serving on its Provisional Executive Committee. She was 73, multiple public record websites say.
The Bryants were in Vermont when she died, JoAnne Jackson wrote in an email to Norwalk Land Trust members, describing the couple as “founders and drivers of the Norwalk Preservation Trust.”
Marija Vaivads Bryant was on the Norwalk Historical Commission from 2002 to 2006 and served as chairwoman of the buildings committee, her bio states. She was a member of the Eastern Norwalk Neighborhood Association (ENNA) from 2003 to 2014 and served on its advisory Board from 2014 to the present.
The First Taxing District website states:
“Marija Bryant has taken an active role in the First Taxing District since 2004 when she joined the Parks Advisory Committee. In 2009, Ms. Bryant was elected treasurer of the First Taxing District and served in that capacity until her appointment to the Board of Commissioners in July, 2014.
“A graduate of State University of New York at Stony Brook (BS, psychology) and Boston College (MA, English), Ms. Bryant traveled after graduation, traversing Europe with a backpack and a few hundred dollars earned at summer jobs. After a year of adventures, she returned to the ‘real world’ of her hometown, Albany, N.Y., to work as a copywriter for General Electric.
“While living in Albany, she met her husband, Tod, who was working as a photographer for the city. When GE transferred her to New York City, he followed and they began to take the next steps in their careers. For Ms. Bryant, this meant leaving the corporate world and starting her own consulting business developing training seminars for US and international organizations. She has operated this business for the past 35 years – first in New York and then in Norwalk.
“Since moving to Norwalk in 1985, Ms. Bryant has been involved with Norwalk neighborhood organizations and civic organizations. She was appointed to the Norwalk Historical Commission in 2002 and served until 2006. With her husband Tod, Ms. Bryant is a founding member of the Norwalk Preservation Trust and serves as its secretary. The Norwalk Preservation Trust works to preserve the rich history of Norwalk as represented in its neighborhoods and significant buildings.”
NancyOnNorwalk asked Bryant for comments before the election.
“When I moved to Norwalk in the 1980s, my wonderful neighbor, the late Mary Brewer, got me involved in the community,” she wrote. “She showed me that Dr Seuss was right: ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’ So that’s why I’m running for re-election. I care ‘a whole awful lot’ about the drinking water supplied by First Taxing District Water Department and the parks and properties we care for – like the Norwalk Town Green. I care ‘a whole awful lot’ about the Commissioners I serve with, who are concerned and committed to serving the residents of the First Taxing District. As chairman this past year, I am proud of the work we did to ensure continued progress while keeping our water rates among the lowest in the entire state.”