Mary Ella Hardwick Bruce, beloved daughter of Noble Hardwick and Olive Hackler Hardwick, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 in Gotha, Florida. She was 88 years old. Her husband of 59 years, Richard Scott Bruce, preceded her in death in 2008.
Mary was born in Bedford, Indiana, on May 9, 1930 and was the youngest of 9 brothers and sisters. She moved to Winter Garden with Richard in 1956. Mary was the beloved mother of one son and 3 daughters. Family was very important to her and she loved being surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom survive her. Son, Richard Bruce II (Debra Ivey), and daughters Jennifer (Mark) Hill, Cathy (Robert) Goodson, and Juliann (Mark) Unger; her grandchildren Richard Bruce III (Mary Pat), Paul Watson, Sean Bruce (Jade), Megan Andrews (Scott), Brittany Hill Hall, Tyler Hill, Casey Goodson, Alex Goodson (April), Dustin Goodson (Lindsey), Olivia and Marielle Unger; and her great grandchildren, Alexandra Conte, Kendall Watson, Amaya and Aidan Hall, Delanney Goodson, and Piper and Cooper Goodson. You could often find Mary cheering on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at their sporting events and attending school functions.
Mary was an active member of First Baptist Church of Winter Garden. Her love for children was evident in her 36+ years of being a pre-kindergarten teacher at First Baptist. Teaching children was her calling, as she also taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and the Girls Auxiliary. She was always described as the “sweetest woman you would ever know” and Mrs. Bruce always made time to speak with former students, wherever she may be.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Woodlawn Funeral Home in Gotha, Florida. Visitation is on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 from 4-8pm. Funeral service is on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at 10:00am.
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