Cover photo for Mary A. Bruce's Obituary
1937 Mary 2023

Mary A. Bruce

November 25, 1937 — October 9, 2023

Lakewood, Colorado

Mary Ann Bruce (née Artemis), age 85, fell asleep in the Lord on October 9, 2023 at her home in Lakewood, Colorado, surrounded by family, almost a year to the day after she lost her husband. She exhibited great courage in the face of a diagnosis of incurable lung cancer rendered less than two months before her death.

In 1929, Mary's parents, who were of humble origin and lacking in formal education, immigrated to the United States from Greece. They left their villages, Souda and Tsikalaria, located on the Island of Crete, voyaged on the ocean liner Vulcania, and entered at Ellis Island. They settled, temporarily, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City where, on November 25, 1937, Mary was born.

While still in her tender years, Mary traveled by train from New York to Colorado to join her uncle who, about a decade earlier, had been, at the age of seventeen, the first in the family to immigrate. Mary's family settled with him, in the community of Pleasant View, just outside Golden, along with several other relatives who made the journey to America.

Mary's first day of kindergarten was a challenge because she did not speak English, and she cried all day. But with time, despite not having the benefit of today's specialized instruction for non-native English speakers, Mary thrived in school. In 1956, she graduated from Golden High School, the center of the community, site of many happy memories, and source of lifelong friends, where she was active in numerous extracurricular activities, such as cheerleading, basketball, pep club, and prom planning. Mary was a daring teenager, becoming the first of the children to drive an automobile, chauffeuring her cousins on various outings in a Model T.

In 1955, Mary lost her father, who was only 58, to cancer. Four years later, following her heart and defying familial pressure to marry a Greek, she wed William Earl ("Bill") Bruce, who converted to Orthodoxy for his nyfi or bride. The ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox church at Sixth Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Denver. Just a month later, Mary lost her mother, who was only 52, and also succumbed to cancer.

Mary and Bill had two children and, although Mary worked as a bank teller, bookkeeper, and secretary, retiring from the Internal Revenue Service in her 50s, she was first and foremost a patient, loyal, and devoted wife and mother. A regular presence at parent-teacher meetings and on school field trips, she was a wonderful cook and hostess, preparing years of Sunday lunches for her family. She would often invite people who had nowhere else to go or were short on funds to spend the holidays at her home.

Mary was a generous supporter of family and friends and gave freely to her church and to numerous charities. She participated in Greek women's organizations, including Philoptochos and the Daughters of Penelope, and volunteered many hours in support of the Greek Festival, baking and working in the Sweets Shop. Like her husband, she was a cat-lover, avid reader, and gardener. She was also a talented artist, especially in the medium of oil paints. In the 1970s, she showed her work at public venues, selling at least sixty-five paintings.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Bruce; her father, Stelios Artemakis (a.k.a. Steve Artemis); her mother, Antonia Artemaki (née Hatzikokolaki) (a.k.a. Anna Artemis); her brothers, Harry and George Artemis; her brothers-in-law, Grant Jackson, Earl Jefferson, and Charles Bruce; and her sisters-in-law, Barbara (Jefferson) Jackson (née Bruce), Alyce Artemis (née Fotinos), and Joy Artemis (née Worthen). She is survived by her children, William Steven (Jani) Bruce, and Teresa (Ahmed White) Bruce; her grandson, William Howard (Aleaha Heye) Bruce; her great-grandson, Marcus Bruce; her sister-in-law, Carole Bruce (née Gilbertson); her nephews, James (Teresa) Jefferson, William (Kim) Jefferson, Thomas (Peggy) Bruce, Stephen (Mary Beth) Artemis, Chris (Nancy) Artemis, Kent (Maureen) Jefferson, and Andrew (Marny) Artemis; her nieces, Anne (Pam Miller) Bruce, Tina Artemis, Elisabeth Peterson (née Bruce), and Stephanie (Charles) Winfrey (née Artemis); her American cousins, Joann (George) Kandilakis (née Papageorge) (widow of Mike Varanakis), Mary (George) Souvall (née Papageorge), and Roxy (Guy) Talbot (née Houghton); her numerous Greek cousins; many grandnephews and nieces; and several great-grandnephews and nieces.

Services will be held at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver, on Friday, October 20, with the trisagion to begin at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Fairmount Cemetery will follow the trisagion, funeral service, and makaria. Memorial contributions may be made in Mary's name to the Assumption Cathedral or St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in Greenwood Village.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary A. Bruce, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Trisagion Followed by Funeral Service

Friday, October 20, 2023

10:30am - 12:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral

4610 E Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80246

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Makaria

Friday, October 20, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral

4610 E Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80246

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Friday, October 20, 2023

12:45 - 3:15 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Fairmount Cemetery - Denver

430 S Quebec St, Denver, CO 80247

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