June 28, 1930 - June 5, 2020
Mary K. Bruch, Pioneering Microbiologist, Dies at 89 Mary Ruth Kestermeier Bruch 89, formerly of Marietta, Ohio, died Friday, June 5, 2020 at her and her twin sister's home in Hamilton, Virginia. Mary and her twin sister Martha were born on June 28, 1930 in Marietta, Ohio to Albert Henry and Eleanor Mae Snodgrass Kestermeier. Born significantly premature at only two and a half pounds, the twins survived against great odds, thanks to the efforts of a young Marietta physician. Mary obtained her Bachelor of Science from Marietta College and her Master's in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison at a time when the sciences were overwhelmingly dominated by men. As a female pioneer in the field, she excelled at her work as a microbiologist for the Food and Drug Administration, National Canners Association Research Laboratories, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as in the private sector. She served for decades in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and was acknowledged repeatedly for her excellence and service. Her colleagues recognized her wealth of scientific knowledge and experience and pursuit of the highest standards in antimicrobial science - a field more important now than ever. Her mother Eleanor, a teacher, and father Albert, proprietor of Kestermeier Shoes on Front Street, supported and fostered Mary's and Martha's tireless curiosity and pursuit of science. Mary spread this love of learning to those around her and never hesitated to gift a good book she knew her friends and family would like. A proud daughter of Marietta, she also collected Ohio Valley pottery and glassware, which she sold at her several antique booths in Northern Virginia. Her creativity and love were expressed in her cooking and gardening, and her family benefitted from her great interest in the science of the kitchen. As family matriarch, Mary never let a holiday or family occasion pass without proper celebration, recognizing the importance of sharing joy in life with those she loved. Her pride and joy were her daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, who are forever indebted to her for instilling a lifelong love of reading, learning, and science. Mary is survived by her two daughters, Elise Bruch of Portland, Oregon, and Miriam Burton (and husband Alton Burton, Esq.) of Bethesda, Maryland; four grandchildren, AJ Burton, Esq. (and wife Emma Simson, Esq.), Kim Bonilla (and husband Juan Bonilla), Cal Burton, M.D., and Tori Burton; three great grandchildren, DJ, Mariana, and Valentina Bonilla; and former husband, Dr. Carl W. Bruch, PhD, of Hudson, Wisconsin. Funeral Liturgy with mass will be held on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 10:00 am at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, with The Rev. Josh Erickson officiating. Burial will follow in New St. Mary's Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to her sister and parents. There will be no visitation. To view the services live please visit stmarysmarietta.org. Donations may be made in her memory to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, 2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219, or go to https://37371.thankyou4caring.org/general-dsp/st-catherine-feast-day-2020 . The Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples Funeral Homes is honored to serve Mary's family, offering on-line condolences and many other resources by visiting CawleyandPeoples.com .
Mary K. Bruch, Pioneering Microbiologist, Dies at 89 Mary Ruth Kestermeier Bruch 89, formerly of Marietta, Ohio, died Friday, June 5, 2020 at her and her twin sister's home in Hamilton, Virginia. Mary and her twin sister Martha were born on... View Obituary & Service Information
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Mary K. Bruch, Pioneering Microbiologist, Dies at 89
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