Mary Louise Brumbaugh, a woman known for her community service in Lemon Grove and across the San Diego region, died Feb. 21 in her sleep at her Spring Valley home. She was 83.
Brumbaugh, born Mary Louse Moore in Philadelphia, Penn., and her husband of 62 years, Dr. Simon "Si" C. Brumbaugh, were both diagnosed with the same kind of cancerous brain tumor last year, according to her obituary provided courtesy of Conrad Lemon Grove Mortuary.
The Wilmington, Delaware native graduated from Jefferson Medical College School of Nursing and became a registered nurse in September 1950. She and her husband met on a blind date while he was also attending Jefferson Medical College. They married and after Simon completed his medical degree, the pair moved to Lemon Grove.
Brumbaugh worked as a nurse at the County Hospital in San Diego while her husband finished his residency and began his general and family medicine practice, Lemon Grove Medical Group, in July 1952. Brumbaugh left medicine to start her family and the pair stayed in Lemon Grove for the next 45 years, raising seven of their daughters there, before building a home overlooking Casa De Oro.
While raising her children, Brumbaugh was active in both Lemon Grove and the greater San Diego area. Among the organizations she was active in were the Lemon Grove Jr. Women's Club, the Lemon Grove Kiwanians, and the Lemon Grove Historical Society. She served with all three Parent Teacher Associations at San Miguel Elementary School, Lemon Grove Junior High, and Helix High, as those are the schools her daughters attended.
Brumbaugh also was active in regional organizations, including her lifelong membership in the San Diego County Medical Auxiliary, in which she held various offices and chaired numerous committees.
Read the full obituary on Legacy.com obituary here.
Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, praised Brumbaugh for her dedication to the community and ability to manage her busy life without losing track of what is important.
"Mary Lou Brumbaugh was and is one of Lemon Grove and the region's great ladies, famous throughout her lifetime for her community service, organizational skills, friendship to many, mentoring of the young (including her seven gorgeous daughters), leadership of numerous non profits, great humor and wisdom and ability to 'connect' all the disparate parts of her busy life in a way that made each person feel special and treasured," Ofield said.
Ofield added that it is rare that she doesn't find Brumbaugh's name and photo with connection to a variety of community organizations in the "Lemon Grove Review." Brumbaugh also was "half of a terrific marriage," with Dr. Si, Ofield said.
"We were fortunate to have featured the Brumbaughs and extended family on 'History Alive' on Jan. 6, 2011 in a packed H. Lee House, where folks sat on the stairs, crowded into doorways, shared chairs, and peered over each other's shoulders to see and hear Dr. Simon remember, she said. "The session was videotaped and was noteworthy for the love, laughter and good memories that flooded the Great Room that night. Truly, the Brumbaughs are Lemon Grove. Unforgettable and irreplaceable."