Joan Ann Carson Bryan, 74, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J., who retired in 2007 after 39 years as a business education teacher at Collingswood High School, died of heart and kidney failure Sunday, April 27, at the Lawrenceville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Her husband, Jay, died in March.

Born in Lawrenceville, N.J., Mrs. Bryan earned a bachelor's degree in business education, six credits short of a master's degree, at Rider University in 1966.

At Collingswood High, daughter Marianne Seabert said, "she was a true force for feminism."

"Though teaching a stenography class," for instance, Seabert said, "she always thought the purpose of business education included how to manage people.

"That was unheard of in those days," Seabert said. "Nobody would have thought it was important to teach our future secretaries how to manage anyone."

But at Collingswood, she said, Mrs. Bryan "was really welcomed warmly."

She worked with the school's chapter of DECA, the campus business education group, "to help place students with various employers," Seabert said.

And for the school's marching band, she helped choreograph the routines of its color guard.

Mrs. Bryan was a longtime resident of Cinnaminson before moving to Little Egg Harbor.

She was a volunteer at Emmaus United Methodist Church of Smithville, N.J., where she taught at its Sunday school and at its summer Bible camp, where her husband built stage sets for student performances.

Sandi Green, wife of Emmaus pastor the Rev. Delloyd Green, recalled how well Mrs. Bryan in recent years worked with students both at Sunday school and at vacation camp.

"Joan was a person," Green said, "who worked toward meeting the abilities and the needs and the interests of these students. She was extremely creative."

Besides her daughter, Mrs. Bryan is survived by two grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, 650 Lawrence Rd., Lawrenceville, before a 1 p.m. funeral service there.

Donations may be sent to the American Heart Association at

Condolences may be offered to the family at