Posted on October 9th, 2006
Mary Deputy Brubaker, 92, who helped start the nursing program at Eastern Mennonite University, died Oct. 5, 2006, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. She was a resident of the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC).
Brubaker taught 10 years at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital School of Nursing before coming to EMU in 1962 to teach nursing to students who attended hospital nursing diploma programs but also wanted a university degree.
Brubaker “was instrumental in shaping the basic nursing collegiate program which admitted its first class the fall of 1966, serving as interim educational director until 1968 when a doctorally-prepared nurse took over the program,” noted Arlene G. Wiens, current chair of EMU’s nursing department. “It was Mary Deputy’s vision and hard work that made the collegiate program possible,” she said.
Brubaker was a member of the class of 1932 at the former Eastern Mennonite School. She later earned an RN and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
She served 20 years as archivist of the “Old Grads,” those persons who graduated from EMU 50 or more years ago. The group is now called the “Jubilee Grads.”
She was a charter member of the Mennonite Nurses Association and its secretary for seven years. She was named Mennonite Nurses Association “nurse of the year” in 1977 and was a board member of the Virginia Lung Association for 30 years. She worked as a volunteer for the VMRC Auxiliary for 22 years.
On June 12, 1966, she married Jacob Brubaker. He preceded her in death Apr. 22, 1973. She was a member of and deaconess at Pike Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg.
Surviving are a brother, four stepdaughters and a stepson.
A memorial service was held Oct. 7 at VMRC with a private burial following.
“We of the EMU alumni relations office loved Mary