Bryant Cantey

Obituary of Bryant Whitfield Cantey

God called Bryant (Mike) Whitfield Cantey Jr. home peacefully in his sleep September 12, 2023. Born and raised surrounded by the marshes of Savannah, Georgia, Mike was happiest when he was surrounded by nature. He had a caring soul, a thoughtful consideration, an infectious way of connecting with people and a dynamic personality that would fill a room. To friends and family, he was a brother who “was a handful,” a favorite Uncle, a thoughtful Neighbor, a treasured Friend, a charismatic Grandfather and his proudest accomplishment… a beloved Father. His witty humor, infectious slogans and uncanny knowledge about all things history made every moment in his presence special. In Baseball Season, the Braves were always within earshot. In football season, the University of Georgia was “always on his mind.” Through 95 years of perpetual motion, he was a special man that always made the people around him feel honored. Mike was born on March 24, 1928, to Thelma and Bryant Cantey. He tells of fond memories growing up in Savannah with his sisters Emma and Lenore, attending Savannah High School, living on East Park Avenue, Bona Bella, and Avondale. Mike was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. After high school, Mike joined the United States Marines serving in China and Guam. Upon his return, he played baseball in the Geechee League and worked as a timber estimator in Florida. He played Baseball for two summers in the lower minor league of the Philadelphia Athletics (later to be Oakland Athletics). In 1953 Mike graduated the University of Georgia, (Suma Comma lately as he said)! with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry. While at Georgia he was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity and loved the Varsity Hot Dogs. In 1953 he married Bricelyn Johnston Cantey and soon thereafter had three spectacular children: Kathy, Whit and Mark. Mike’s career started in sales in the textile mills of South Carolina and transitioned to Savannah for timber, then to Birmingham, AL, Columbia, SC, and ultimately Greenville, SC for corrugated box management. Starting in 1967, Mike started his own Corrugated Box Company -- C&R Container in Greenville. He later sold the business and retired to enjoy his life with family, friends, and his love of nature in the low-country of South Carolina. Throughout his life, Mike enjoyed the camaraderie and competition of golf. He was a proud member of the “Dirty Dozen.” A group of friends that gathered for 60+ Years to share stories, spend time with one another and sometimes play a little golf. As a child, Mike has beautiful memories of the summers his family visited Driftwood Farm in Darien, Georgia. A short drive from Savannah, he recalls the warm summer breezes, spectacular marsh vistas and wonderous adventures. In his memoirs he wrote, “Driftwood is the one and only constant in my life… It has and always will be a place of happy memories, inspirational thought, and security.” We are especially grateful to Allyson from Caregiving Corner. Mike was the father to Kathy Church (Preston), Whit Cantey (Anne), and Mark Cantey (Wendy); grandfather to Lee, Field, Chandler, Abby, Michael, and Jack; and brother to his sister, Lenore Saydah (Ferris) and Emma Cantey. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Bryant and Thelma Cantey. He loved his extended family, nieces, nephews, and their children. A memorial burial service will be held in Darien, Georgia at Driftwood Farm for Friends, and Family at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his honor to The Cantey Cemetery, c/o Land Parker Welch LLC, 29 South Mill Street, Manning, SC 29102, 803-435-8894. Condolences may be left for the family by visiting:
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Bryant
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hankins and Whittington Funeral Services
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