AUSTIN (KXAN) — Friends and family gathered at the Ben Hur Shriners Center over the weekend for a celebration a century in the making.
James Izenetta Overton Bryant, affectionately called Netta, turned 100 on Jan. 2 and celebrated this past weekend with the Davis, Overton, and Franklin families.
Netta credited her longevity to the way her parents, Geneva Franklin and James Everitt Overton, Jr., raised her — to serve God and love others.
“I don’t see well anymore, I don’t hear well anymore,” she joked, “But I still love everybody. I love people.”
There’s much to celebrate about her 100 years.
Netta was born and raised in Austin. She attended Austin ISD schools then worked at Atlanta Life Insurance for 25 years, then accepted a position at Travis County and worked there for 12 years until retiring.
She has been a regularly active member of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church for over 70 years and has played key roles in various ministries. She also held several positions in the Mission Society and gave her “heart, time, talent, and treasure” to the St. John’s District Association, Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the National Baptist Convention.
During the 2021 Franklin family reunion in Los Angeles, she was honored for her mission work through a donated water well to the African Village of Malawi, named the “Izenetta Bryant Well in Malawi.”
She is also the last living first cousin to WWII veteran Richard Overton, who held the record as being the oldest WWII veteran in the U.S. until he died at 112 years old.
Netta has four children, 15 grandchildren, and lots of great and great-great grandchildren. She even has a great-great-great grandchild.