Mary Ellen Bruner, nee Slusher, passed away after a short illness on March 17, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. Mary was born on November 25, 1921, to Clarence Slusher and Ethel Leona Zane Slusher in Coffeyville, Kansas. Mary graduated from Field Kindley Memorial High School in Coffeyville before receiving her R.N. from Southeast Kansas Hospital Nursing School in 1943. She worked at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to Dothan, Alabama, where she pursued her nursing career at Moody Hospital. Later, she was a nurse at Adams Hospital in Panama City, Florida, before taking a sabbatical from nursing to concentrate on her family. When her three children were older, Mary returned to nursing at Southeast Alabama Medical Center before spending the final years of her professional career as a nurse in a dermatology practice. Although she retired formally from the profession she loved in the late 1970s, Mary continued to care for family members and friends for the rest of her life.
Mary met and married the love of her life, Quinton Bruner, in 1946, and they enjoyed sixty-six years of married life, parenting and caring for three children—Charles Stephen Bruner, Dr. Martha Bruner Burdette, and Mary Quinn Bruner Couch.
In addition to her professional life, Mary and her husband were active in their church work, especially with teaching Sunday School to young children at the First Baptist Church of Panama City, Florida, and at the First Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama. She missed the fellowship of her church friends after she moved to Atlanta to live with her daughter, Dr. Martha Bruner Burdette, and her husband, Wayne Burdette.
Mary is survived by her daughters and their spouses: Dr. Martha Bruner Burdette and Wayne Burdette of Atlanta, Georgia; Mary Quinn Bruner Couch and her husband James Couch of Trezevant, Tennessee; and her daughter-in-law, Sally Bruner of Columbia, Tennessee. She also has four grandsons, their spouses, and three great-grandchildren: Jamie and Beth Couch and their children Hudson and Harper of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Kevin and Kim Couch and their daughter Baileigh of Trezevant, Tennessee; Blake and Jennifer Bruner of Atlanta, Georgia; and Derek and Bonnie Bruner and their daughter Lizibelle of Nashville, Tennessee. She is also survived by several loving nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 24th, at 11:00 AM, at Ward Wilson Funeral Home, 2414 Hartford Highway, Dothan, Alabama 36305 with Dr. Johnny Fain officiating. Interment will follow in Dothan City Cemetery with Ward Wilson Funeral Home directing. The family will receive friends at 10:00 AM for visitation prior to the service. For friends wishing to make memorial gifts, donations may be made in Mary’s name to First Baptist Church, 300 West Main Street, Dothan, Alabama, 30301, or to Ben Franklin Academy, 1585 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.