Father dies while hunting with son

Jeff McBryant, a pillar at church and caring husband will be missed by many in community

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CUMMING, Ga. — Jeffery “Jeff” Lane McBryant always volunteered to do the sounds at the Abundant Life Church in Cumming. He didn’t have the voice to be in the choir, but he was the crucial element behind the scenes.

“He was the guy who blows the driveway for friends without being asked,” his wife Lisa McBryant said. “He’s a behind the scenes person. He helped with my friend’s football team, but was never a coach. He would make sure they had balls; make sure they had water.”

He liked it better when he wasn’t noticed, but he leaves a void in his family and friends’ lives.

Jeff McBryant had a heart attack while he and his 15-year-old son, Elijah, went hunting in a wooded area along Old Atlanta Road, near Suwanee.

Jeff and Elijah both fell from a 20-foot tall tree stand about 5 p.m. Nov. 26.

Forsyth County firefighters found the two through a cellphone signal and administered CPR to Jeff. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

He was 44.

Elijah was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and had minor back surgery. He is doing well, Lisa said.

Jeff, who was born Jan. 25, 1968 and attended Forsyth County Schools, started his ERM Irrigation and landscape lighting business about 14 years ago.

He and his wife met while they worked together at a now-defunct chemical factory and married three years later in December 1993. In addition to Elijah, they also have an 8-year-old daughter, Carliebeth.

Jeff McBryant enjoyed horses and buying and selling items. He was a big University of Georgia fan.

Eleven years ago, the couple helped found the Abundant Life Church. Jeff was a go-to-guy at the church.

“Whatever needs within our church, he was there to serve,” said the Rev. Mark Smith. “He would greet people. His wife serves in our nursery.”

When the pastor thinks of Jeff McBryant, he smiles.

“There’s not many men I met in my life that have modeled a father, a servant and a great church member,” Smith said. “You wouldn’t be a stranger when you met Jeff. He would always make you feel welcomed like he knew you.”

He is also survived by a sister, a brother, three nephews and two nieces.

Anyone wishing to reach out to the family is asked to contact the church at 770-844-5762.