Mary Brunning née McComb

Mary Brunning

My mother Muriel Evelyn Mary Kellett McComb, always known as Mary, was born in Croydon on 8th March 1920. Her father Arthur William Evelyn McComb was a Church of England clergyman. He married Muriel Alice Sophia Osman in Croydon in 1910, after meeting her in Canada.

Mary was an only child, but her son Paul and his son carry on the McComb name as a Christian name. Kellett is a family name from 3 generations earlier.

Mary was educated at the Norwich High School for Girls and Homerton College, Cambridge. Her parents (and her paternal grandmother) both died while she was at Homerton. She served in the WRNS during the second World War.

Later she taught at the Palace School Ely and met John Brunning who was at Ely Theological College. Mary went to Ontario to see her parents' old friend Dr. Davies and spent some time there teaching in an Indian school. She also worked for a while caring for an old lady in Vancouver, Canada.

She returned to England to marry Rev. Sidney John George Brunning on 17th June 1950 at St. Michael's, Aldershot (Guildford diocese), where he was curate. Their honeymoon in Austria included a visit to Oberammergau Passion Play - both were interested in drama and music, especially of a religious nature, and had taken part in amateur dramatics.

John served a second curacy at St. James, Clacton (Chelmsford diocese) in 1951 and moved as Rector to St. Leonard's, Sunningwell (Oxford diocese) in April 1955.

Mary was enrolling member and later presiding member of the Mothers' Union and served on the central council. She was an avid reader, with a strong interest in Christian Healing and Health. A family holiday in 1970 in the Volkswagen camper included a further visit (John's third) to Oberammergau. Together they made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to celebrate their silver wedding in 1975.

Mary with John-Paul in 1978
Mary with her oldest grandson,
John-Paul, in September 1978

They retired to West Runton (Norfolk) in May 1981 and took an active part in the life of the church there, including sometime responsibility for contact with missions. John looked after the church there during an interregnum. They were both active with the Focolare and have many good friends in the movement, who have visited them in recent years.

They moved to Eastcotts Nursing Home, Kedington, Suffolk in January 1994. Mary was suffering from Parkinson's Disease: she died on 15th December 1996 at the nursing home.

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