Mary Joanne Bruton was born in Watervliet Michigan on July 18th to Shirley Bruton and John Makenzie.
Mary was raised in Covert, Michigan. She graduated from Covert High School in 1985. She participated in numerous sports: basketball, softball, track and even cheerleading! Her favorite sport was basketball, where she was a standout player for the women’s team. Mary was known for her infectious smile, and outgoing personality. She was known by her classmates as “Sugar Bear”.
After graduating High School, Mary moved to South Haven, Mi where she worked as a nurse’s aide at The South Haven Rehabilitation Center, formerly known as The Martin Luther Nursing Home. In 1998 Mary moved to moved San Diego, Ca. After arriving in San Diego, Mary worked security at General Dynamics NASSCO, while simultaneously attending classes to become a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA). After earning her CNA, she spent 20 years working as an In-Home Health Care Provider throughout San Diego County. In Aug of 2018 Mary moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to live with her daughter and grandchildren.
Mary relished her role as Mother and Grandmother, she loved her kids and grandkids unconditionally. She enjoyed watching her son (Her Beloved June-Bug!) play Basketball from the time he was a youth through his days at Morse High School. And she always made sure she was the loudest parent in the stands! Simply put, her daughter Maria was her best friend. They were inseparable. When she became a grandmother to Hezekiah and then Niamaia (Lil Shirley), she could not have been happier and doted on them both constantly!
Mary was introduced to Christ at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in South Haven, MI under the leadership of the late Rev. Angel Muriente.
Mary will be remembered as a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend who had a zest for life! She was always up for the next adventure! Her favorite saying being: I have 365 days a year to do whatever I want, where am I traveling to next?!? And travel she did! In the last few years, she visited the Kingdom Of Bahrain, Germany, Hawaii, San Diego, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and FT Lauderdale, Florida. Her smile, humor and unbounded joy for life will be sorely missed by all those who loved her.
Mary Departed this life on June 1, 2020 in Grand Rapids, Mi. She was preceded in death by her parents John Henry Toliver and Shirley Maria Bruton-Toliver.
Mary leaves to cherish her memories: Father, John Makenzie; Daughter, Maria JoAnne Lowery; Son Terry Malone Jr.; Brothers Rueben Eugene Bruton (Roxanne), Leaman Bruton (Sabina), John DeCarlos Toliver (Jennifer), Willie Jamar Toliver (Zaneta); Sister Cheri Bruton-Richardson (Ronald); Grandson Hezekiah Savaiinaea; Granddaughter Niamaia Lowery; Sister-in-laws Sharon Wilburn, Charlotte Bruton, Kristin Toliver, Becky Smith; Special Brother Joseph O. Wilkins; Special friends Patrice Strong and Hawaii Douglas. In addition, Mary is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, friends, her kids Sade Clark, Maia, Leilani, Mattie and Harmonee Johnson, Tramaine Hawkins, and Dylan Noy and other extended family. She was extremely fond of her Aunt Gloria Gordon and Cousins Dorothy Razor and Meril Goodwin. She will truly be missed!
Private family services will be held on Friday, June 19th, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. at Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven with Administrator Joseph O. Wilkins officiating. Services will be live streamed for the public at filbrandtffh.com.
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