Current temperature in Boston - 62 °
Get access to a personalized news feed, our newsletter and exclusive discounts on everything from shows to local restaurants, All for free.
Already a member? Sign in.
The Bay State Banner
The Bay State Banner

Trending Articles

Concord Town Meeting members pressure school committee to rename middle school

Banner [Virtual] Art Gallery

Banner [Virtual] Art Gallery


Cicily P. O’Bryant, devoted wife to school committee pioneer, 91


Cicily Pamela (Butcher) O’Bryant, the wife of the late Boston School Committee member John D. O’Bryant, died April 26 at age 91.

Born in Barbados in 1933, she and two sisters moved to Boston at age 9 to join her mother and younger brother, who had emigrated five years earlier.


The close-knit Bajan family, joining Boston’s growing Caribbean community, was defined by strong mutual support, which allowed them to endure many trials in their new home.

After graduating from Roxbury Memorial High School in 1950, Cicily went on to clerical school before working at the Army Base Shipyard doing clerical work. She would eventually work in administrative support positions at the Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center and the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity suburban busing program best known as METCO.

Cicily and her sisters were active members of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Roxbury. In 1960, Cicily and John were married at the Boston University Chapel and took residence in Dorchester and became members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Columbia Road.

Cicily was a loving wife, mother and partner as they raised five rapidly growing boys – John, James, Richard, Paul and Bruce.

As her husband became increasingly involved in civic affairs, Cicily served as a trusted and active participant in his quickly emerging political aspirations. She participated in her husband’s political campaigns and was a key confidante in strategies to overcome centuries of exclusion of Blacks from public office.

John, with Cicily by his side, would go on to be one of Boston’s favorite sons and a historical public figure in education.

Cicily’s greatest joy in life was her children, grandchildren and extended family. She was also devoted to the neighborhood children she cared for.

Cicily and her husband involved their children in all the programs available to the families of St. Mark’s. She served in several leadership roles in the church, including Sunday school teacher, secretary, assistant treasurer and an active member of the vestry. She was also involved in several committees with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Cicily is survived by her children, John of Dorchester; James of Attleboro; Richard of Dorchester; Paul of  Dorchester; and Bruce of Long Beach, California; grandchildren Jabrina, Gregory, Chantel, John Daunte, Shakera, Christian, JohnRichard, Conner, JohnMichael, David, Zayvion, Zalyla, and Zamir; great-grandchildren Merquitio, Amari and Zamyrah; and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews.

She is also survived by her siblings, Carmen Goodridge of Natick, Massachusetts, and Norma McGregor of Seattle, Washington.

Cicily is preceded in death by her husband John D. O’Bryant; parents Lewis and Kate Butcher; brother Erskine Butcher; and grandson Kenneth Soberanis.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John D. and Cicily P. O’Bryant Scholarship Fund in their honor:

A celebration of Cicily’s life will be held on Friday, May 17, 2024, 10:00 a.m. visitation, 11:00 a.m. service at Morning Star Baptist Church, 1257 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, Massachusetts 02126.

Cicily P. O’Bryant, John D. O’Bryant