Katharine Everett Bruner passed on to be “safe in the arms of Jesus” on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. She was born on November 9, 1929, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew up in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Her youth and young adult years were spent in Knoxville, where she was a 1950 graduate of the University of Tennessee. She met the love of her life, Arthur C. Bruner, Jr, while at UT. They married on June 10, 1950, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, while Arthur completed his seminary studies. Then they ministered together at churches in Knox, Blount and Hamilton Counties in Tennessee, until Arthur’s death in 2007.
While at UT, Katharine was a charter member and first initiate of the Tennessee Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. Her Pi Phi sisters, and a special group of women who formed friendships early in junior high school, were dear to her and life-long friends. They corresponded, encouraged and loved each other always.
Although still busy raising five children, Katharine returned to UT to complete a Master of Library Science in 1971. She then used her love of children and books to serve as a school librarian in Knox and Hamilton Counties in Tennessee as well as Walker County, Georgia. During her career, she was published in both Tennessee Librarian and School Library Journal. In 1988, she received the state-wide Louise Meredith School Library Media Service Award. She retired in 2005 to care for her husband.
Never one to sit at home, Katharine was involved in several local ministries. Three favorites were volunteering with a group serving lunch at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, teaching (and coordinating) local classes of English as a Second Language, and helping with meals for the Family Promise folks housed at First Baptist. She also led in maintaining relationships with a group of former teachers with monthly lunch gatherings.
Katharine was an active member of First Baptist Church of Chattanooga. While able, she loved ringing handbells, teaching Bible skills to children, participating in multiple mission projects, and teaching several Sunday School classes.
She also loved to travel. Some especially memorable trips were with a group of librarians to China, a mission trip to Rio de Janeiro, and visits with family and friends in Switzerland and Spain. As a young family, many weekends were spent camping and hiking in the Smoky Mountains, racing home to be ready for church on Sunday.
Katharine was predeceased by her husband and by a son, Robert H. Bruner. She is survived by four children: Frances Marandi (Ehsan), David Bruner (Shanda), Edward Bruner (Deborah), and Beth Nielsen (Robert); grandchildren: Jordan Bruner, Leila Myers (Nathan), Daniel Bruner, Nadia Marandi, Donya Charlesworth (Jason), Farrah Marandi, Becky Boyle (Adam), Kirsten Damitz (Rob), Jakob Bruner, and Rebecca Bruner; great-grandchildren: Lucy Herrod, Maddox Myers, Weston Myers, and Brandt Myers.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, March 30, at 11:00 in the Chapel of First Baptist Church of Chattanooga followed by a period of time visiting with friends; the family will then travel to Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Maryville for a brief graveside service at 4:30.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to the Benevolence Fund, First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37402; or to a charity of your choice.