Mamie Bruce (1923 - 2014)

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Mamie Jolley Bruce


Mamie Jolley Bruce, philanthropist and community volunteer, died Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at her home in Greenville.

Born in 1923 in Anderson, SC, Mamie was raised on Mills Avenue in Greenville by the late Robert A. and Rucker Tweedy Jolley.

She graduated from Greenville High School where she was Vice President of the student government. Mamie graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, now Randolph College. She was a devoted alumna of her College, believing that it had provided her with lifelong friends and a love of learning. In 2008, she received the College's Vita Abundantior Award in honor of her life of service to her community. After college, she returned to Greenville, and until her marriage, worked at WMRC radio station. Later in life, she worked at Amy Pride, a women's dress shop.

In 1997, Mamie read about a program in North Carolina that helped students from low-income backgrounds focus on the possibility of a college education. She believed such a program would benefit students in Greenville County and met with David Shi, then President of Furman University and Susan Shi, a public school educator to discuss the idea of an intensive four-week summer residential experience on the Furman campus. She then made the founding grant that established Bridges to a Brighter Future. Bridges program staff, the students themselves and their families have built a network of support that has resulted in a remarkable track record for over 300 students. All have earned a high school diploma and, in recent years, ninety percent have gone on to college. In 2010, Furman University awarded Mamie the Doctor of Humanities for her vision in establishing Bridges.

Mamie was active in the Greenville community for many years. She was a founding member of the Community Planning Council. She served on the boards of The Community Foundation, United Ministries, and The Peace Center. She served as Treasurer and a Board member of the Junior League of Greenville. With her two brothers, Robert A. Jolley, Jr. and James E. Jolley, she was a director of the Jolley Foundation, established by her parents. In recent years, she was gratified to see the many contributions of women to the Greenville community and especially excited about the establishment of Greenville Women Giving. As a member of the Fourth Presbyterian Church, she served as a Deacon and Treasurer and on the Endowment Committee. She was a devoted member of her Circle and the Tuesday Study Club. She was a member of The Assembly and The Debutante Club.

Surviving are her brother, James E. Jolley; her children, Jolley Bruce Christman of Philadelphia, PA and Duff Bruce (Margaret), of Greenville; five grandchildren, Andrew Christman (Agnieszka), Kate Christman (Dan Amsterdam), Sarah Christman, Mac and Thomas Bruce; and four great grandchildren, Jozef and Stefan Christman and Farrah and Elliot Amsterdam.

She was predeceased by her brother, Robert A. Jolley, Jr. and her former husband, Mac Bruce.

Her family is forever grateful for the loyal and loving care given to her by Sarah Sherman, Precious Tate, Diane Thompson, Renee Smith, and Angela Lunsford during the last years of her life.

Memorials may be made in her memory to a chosen charity or to Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613.

The family will be at the home of Duff and Margaret Bruce, 84 Woodvale Avenue, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, 2014. A funeral service will be held Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown.

Funeral Home
Thomas McAfee Funeral Home - Downtown Chapel
639 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 232-6733
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Published in The Greenville News from June 6 to June 8, 2014
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