Greensburg Daily News
Mary Frances (McLaughlin) Brunsdon, 94, passed away at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine, Texas, on May 28, 2013. Mary Frances was born Oct. 11, 1918, in Greensburg, the third of four children of Margaret Eudora (Miller) McLaughlin and James Barton McLaughlin.
She graduated from Purdue University in 1940 with a BS in Home Economics, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and one of four Junior Coed Editors of the 1939 Debris, the Purdue University yearbook. She accepted a position as dietitian at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
On March 31, 1943, Mary enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps as a Military Hospital Dietitian. A 1st Lieutenant, she was the head dietitian with the 42nd General Army Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, where for 10 months she supervised preparation and serving of all hospital diets, ordered supplies, and supervised kitchen personnel. She also served in the Philippines during the Battle of Luzon. Her decorations and citations included the A-P Theater Ribbon, W/1 Bronze Battle Star and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and five O/S Stripes.
She was relieved from active duty Dec. 3, 1945, and she returned to Indiana where she was accepted a position as dietitian at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. But in June 1951, in an act of characteristic generosity, she left that job behind to move to Columbus, to care for her brother Bill’s two sons, then aged 4 and 10, after the sudden death of their mother. She was “mother” to those boys for almost three years, until Bill remarried in 1954. She then served as head dietitian for the residence halls at Indiana University/Bloomington for several years until her retirement in 1978.
In Oct. 1978, she married Berkeley “Berk” Albion Brunsdon, whom she had known since they served together in World War II, and they enjoyed 12 happy years together, until his death in 1989. Berk and Mary traveled widely and were particularly drawn to Scotland.
For seven consecutive years, they traveled to Argyll, Scotland, once via the Concord, stayed in the same room at Creggans Inn on the shores of Loch Fyne, and were welcomed as old friends by Madam Marjorie Maclachlan of Maclachlan, the lady Chief of Clan Maclachlan, and her husband, George Rome. Until the hotel was sold recently, a photo of Berk and Mary hung in a place on honor in the hotel’s dining room beside photos of other frequent guests, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Mary Frances is survived and deeply mourned by daughters Carol Dunmyer of Lake Martin, Alabama, and Susan Tuten of Washington, North Carolina; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, nieces Betsy McLaughlin Moll of Greensburg and Mary Ann McLaughlin Beams of Tempe, Arizona, and nephews Tom Richardson of Greensburg, Charles McLaughlin of Champaign, Illinois, and William G. McLaughlin II of Tampa, Florida.
The family requests that memorial gifts be made to VNA/Meals On Wheels, 1440 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75247 or Indiana University Foundation, PO Box 6460, Indianapolis, IN 46206.