Mary Seawell Bruce

Oct 28, 1917 – May 6, 2018

Mary Seawell Bruce obituary image 1



         Long-time Seahurst resident Mary Robins Bruce, 100, died May 6th 2018 in Des Moines, Washington. She was born October 28 1917 at “Fairfield” in Gloucester County, Virginia, the eldest child of B Todd Robins of “Robins’s Mill” and Margaret Edwards of “Fairfield”. She graduated from Hampton High School in 1935.

         She married Army Lt Roy Bruce in 1943 and remained in Hampton during his service in the Pacific Theater on Oahu and Iwo Jima. She immigrated to Seattle with him in 1946. Their three daughters were born there and survive her. 72 years in Seattle never erased her soft Tidewater voice.

         She was married to Roy Bruce of Seattle for 64 years until his death in 2008.

         Mary embraced travel, escorting her daughters to Virginia by train in summers, and car camping up and down the Pacific Coast.  She was a Tidewater girl who loved the Cascade mountains and Pacific beaches for their birds, rocks and wildflowers. Over the years she was active with Campfire Girls, Three Tree Point Garden Club, Highline Senior Center and Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society.

         She was office manager at Bellamy Ice Cream Company in Hampton, VA before World War II then worked for the Virginia State Welfare department until leaving the state. After her daughters were grown she worked in the billing department of Frederick & Nelson in Seattle.

         Mary never tired of learning. She was at various times a potter, rug braider,  flower presser and always a clever stitcher and excellent cook. She was a true plantswoman whose garden included rare native plants and familiar and unusual cultivars of cottage standards. She was a slow and steady hiker of shores and mountains,  a skilled bird and butterfly watcher, and a voracious reader especially of history.

         Mary is survived by her beloved sister Martha Maclay of “Fairfield” and brother Warner Robins of Yorktown VA; daughters Frances Dearmin (Brian), Anna Bruce & Jane Hansen (Eric); grandchildren:  Mary Holmes (Rick) of Kent, Heather Neal (Adrian) of Cambridgeshire, UK, Doug Dearmin (Lani) of La Mesa, CA, Todd Hansen (Sara) of Wheat Ridge, CO, and Leif Hansen (Heide) of Delphi, WA; great-grandchildren: Clark Hansen of CO,  Julia Robins Neal of the UK, and Wyatt Hansen of WA. Mary passed away 6 days before the birth of her 4th great-grandchild, Audrey Hansen of CO. She was predeceased by brother John E Robins of Hampton, VA.

         She will be interred with her husband at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA on Friday May 25th at 1:15pm.

         Mary's family want to thank her caregivers at Wesley Terrace for their years of compassion, and especially Jennifer Hanson, Assistant Director of Nursing, whose unmatched care and wisdom allowed Mary to remain in her familiar Wesley home until the end. Thank you.

         In lieu of memorial donations, Mary would ask that you  read to your children and never stop learning. She would also caution you: don't slip on the bricks.


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