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Mary's Story

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Funeral services for Mary Anita Harris-Bruff will be held on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 2:00 PM at the Reed-Culver Chapel with Reverend Buddy Hunt of First Baptist Church officiating. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 from noon until 6:00 PM at Reed-Culver Chapel. Interment will be held at Tahlequah City Cemetery. Online condolences for her family may be left at www.reedculver.com.
Mary Anita Harris-Bruff was born on December 13th 1926 in Dallas, TX, the daughter of Luther Bently and Lillian Elsie “Dollie” (Harville) Harris. She was raised in a home with her two sisters; Lillian Betty and Marilyn Ann. Marry graduated from high school then attended college, obtaining her Bachelors Degree in Nursing. She married her best friend and companion, Samuel McGrath Bruff on February 14th, 1951, in Las Vegas, NV. This union produced one son and three daughters, Mary Ann, Brenda Kay, Katherine Bruff, and Robert J. and a loving relationship; ending with Sam’s passing in 2000. Mary and Sam lived in California most of their working careers. Mary was raised by parents that were both hearing challenged. She was well trained in sign language, and worked as a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery, and taught prenatal classes to individuals that were hearing impaired. She also volunteered countless hours helping when signing was needed in the VA Hospitals, at the VFW, at the American Legion, or anywhere she could be of service. She received a Certificate of Achievement signed by then president, Ronald Reagan for her many hours of volunteer work making life better for those around her. Whenever she had spare time, Mary and her family were at the beach, swimming, fishing, and lying on the beach. She enjoyed crocheting and knitting, and liked to cook, she made a great beef stew! She loved her husband, children, and grandchildren. They were everything to her. In 1989, Sam retired from the naval shipyards and Mary and Sam relocated to Tahlequah, OK. They were both active in the First Baptist Church of Tahlequah, attending the Mary and Martha Sunday School Class, and helping whenever asked. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, and enjoyed outings with her friends. She had a warm and welcoming smile, and was always there to listen when you needed a friend. Kind, loving, and unselfish, a friend to many. Her health began to fade and Mary relied on her daughter, Katherine for assistance and support. The Lord called this good and faithful servant home from her labors on March 12th, 2016 in Coweta, OK; she was 89 years, 2 months, and 29 days. She will be greatly missed.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Sam, her daughter, Brenda Kay Underwood, her sisters, Lillian Manhart and Marilyn Ann Money, and her grandparents.
Those left to cherish her memory include her daughters, Mary Ann Smith and husband Walter, Katherine Bruff Hughes, son Robert James Bruff, her son in law, Carol Underwood of Hawk Point, MO, her granddaughter, Heather Rhode and Heather’s children, Abigail and Alex Rhode all of Lakewood, CO, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and loved ones.
Published on March 15, 2016
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