Mary loved children – everyone’s children. When hers were growing up the neighborhood kids would all come to her with their worries and joys because she would listen intently to their stories. They all wanted her to be their mother and she spent her lifetime living that ideal.
As adults, her children would tease her when she was ill to make her laugh, and she would laugh too, and say she wanted on her tombstone “I told you I was sick.” Her sense of humor was one of the things that made her so fun to be around. On one particular occasion after a Broadway show on a New York trip with two of her children, requesting ‘dessert only’ at a restaurant generated an impromptu tour of the restaurant, through the kitchen, and out the back door, where the matre d’ pointed to an ice cream kiosk across the alley. Mary looked around and said in her southern drawl, “What just happened?” All three fell on the sidewalk laughing so hard they could not walk for several minutes.
Her sense of humor lasted to the end. Just days before her passing we asked if there was anything we could get her and one of us jokingly asked “Rum and Coke?” Although she was barely able to communicate at that time, she burst out laughing at that. After an extended illness, where her baby daughter Kati was her main caregiver - with help by Mary’s devoted daughter-in-law Jenene Harris Welch, she passed on peacefully in her sleep on Grandparents Day, September 10th.
Mary was predeceased by her parents, Arthur Bingham and Vivian Dorrell Bingham and four of her sisters, Mildred Duke, Virginia Richardson Epps, Hazel Lesesne Windham, and Judy Colna.
Mary is survived by her loving husband of almost forty years, Warren Bruner, who gave her a good life and opened up the world to her on many levels. He pampered her and was ever proud to show off his “Lovely Bride” as he always called her. She is also survived by her four children (by Kimbley W. Welch, Sr, now deceased): Cheryl Lynn Sky, Kem Welch, Jr (& wife Barbara), Arthur T. Welch, and Kati W. Sharpe, her seven grandchildren: Brandon Sharpe, Chelcey Norton, Kori Welch, Jesse Sky, Kyle Sharpe, Amanda Welch, and Andrea Welch, and her five great grandchildren: Jude Sharpe, Elliott Norton, Howard Welch, Fleur Sharpe, and Wyatt Norton, Mary’s sister Dorothy Doriety Murray, numerous nieces and nephews and grands including niece Stacey Colna Simmons who was like another daughter to her, and her little dog Maya who never left her side in her final days. She is also survived by her best friends of over 30 years, Jim and Bonnie Clark, and the many children and adults she collected as her family on her journey.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Cain Calcutt-Stephens Funeral home in Florence, South Carolina and internment will follow at Bethany Cemetery in Olanta, S.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make memorials to your favorite animal shelter.
Cain Calcutt-Stephens Funeral Home
Saturday September 16th, 2017
512 West 2nd Loop Rd.
Florence, SC 29504
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To Katie and family - So sorry for the loss of your mom. I lost my mom January 19 2017 and miss her everyday. Often pick up the phone to call and can't. If only phones were in Heaven. She is in Heaven now , no more pain, maybe her and my momma will cross paths. If you need anything at all call me or PM on FB.
Submitted by Christy Flowers on Sep 14 2017 03:07:19 PM
Aunt Mary Lou was my friend, my mentor, a mother figure to me and Glenn and an inspiration to enjoy life. She always had a smile and warm word for people, she never meet a stranger. I will miss her, but I know she is in a good place. My prayers and loving thoughts are with all my family because we all loss another of our earth angels. We will together again.
Submitted by Sandra on Sep 12 2017 03:49:22 PM
We're so sad to lose another family member. We wish we could be with you all. Mary Lou was special to us. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Submitted by Sherwin & Mildred on Sep 12 2017 02:12:01 PM
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