Mildred Smith Bruner

Published 4:59 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mildred Smith Bruner, 98, of Madison, Fla. died peacefully on Nov. 11 at St. Augustine Hills Plantation in Tallahassee, Fla.

Bruner was born Sept. 6, 1915, in Chilton County, to James Walter and Eula Traywick Smith. She was their eldest child and was predeceased by her sister, Margaret Smith Hays and her brothers, James Smith, George Smith and Donald Smith.

She is survived by her brothers, Kenneth Smith (Betsy) of Lloyd, Fla., Hugo Smith (Sylvia) of Selma and her sisters-in-law, Clara Crew Smith and Elaine Smith of Clanton.

Bruner was married to Cecil Bruner until his death in 1978. They moved to Madison in 1945 and were actively involved in the community until Bruner’s recent illness.

She was a graduate of the University of Montevallo and received her Master’s degree from Auburn University. She was an educator in public schools for more than 45 years. Bruner was the consummate teacher who took great pride in her profession, nurturing and guiding countless students in Madison County where she taught in the high school for 23 years and at North Florida Community College where she was registrar and dean of admissions during the early years of the school’s existence.

Bruner was a devout Christian and an active member of the First Baptist Church of Madison for more than 65 years. She was a generous contributor to the church and its mission.

Although Mr. and Mrs. Bruner had no children, they were loving “parents” to her siblings and many nieces and nephews, including her beloved nephew, Craig Smith and niece, Mildred Wells Smith Fulford and their mother Jo Allen Willis.

She was the matriarch of her extended family, deeply loved and admired by her many nieces and nephews to whom she was affectionately known as “Aunt Mim.”

She was dignified and respected as fitting for her generation, quick with her wit, and always had words of encouragement for her family, giving financially and emotionally when needed.

She was fiercely proud of her family’s many accomplishments and equally proud of her hometown of Madison.

Bruner will be greatly missed by her family, friends and students who cherish her memory.

Funeral services will be held Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. at Beggs Funeral Home (235 NW Orange Ave., (850-973-2258) in Madison, Fla. Interment will be in Clanton where Bruner will rest alongside her parents and late husband.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Baptist Church of Madison or the Madison County Historical Society.