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Mary Elizabeth Waters, 87, of Bradenton, passed away on Aug. 7, 2018.
Mary was born April 3, 1931 in Valdosta, GA to John Henry Sumler, and Cassie Belle Birdsong Sumler, and she spent her childhood in Sanford, FL. Mary excelled in both Sunday school and high school, and received a scholarship to attend Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY.
A caring pastor, Robert Whattley, nominated her for the Cumberland scholarship, that set her on God's path for her wonderful and productive life.
Mary met her husband, Will E. Waters at Cumberland; they were married May 30, 1952, and they celebrated their 61st anniversary before Will's death in 2013. Mary and Will moved to Bradenton in 1959, after he graduated with his PhD from the University of Florida and was initially employed by UF to be a researcher, and later the center director of the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Bradenton.
Mary spent her life teaching Sunday school, and enjoyed sharing the joy of Jesus with everyone she encountered.
Mary and Will encouraged and helped many young people to acquire a college education and fostered a spirit of learning in everyone they helped. Mary spent her life supporting her husband, family and church, and with great joy she was anticipating her first great-grandchild in December, 2018, to her grandson Matthew Waters and his wife Melanie Melicia Waters.
Mary is survived by her daughter Marie Bieniek, Bob, and their children Andrew and Shannon of Alachua, FL; her son Alan Waters, Beth Moss Waters, and their children Matthew, wife Melanie Melicia Waters, and Melanie Waters of
Bradenton, FL; and daughter Sheila Orlovsky and her son Keith of Boynton Beach, FL.
Visitation will be from 11:00 - 12:00 with Funeral Services commencing at 12:00 (noon) on Monday Aug. 13, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Bradenton in the Memorial Chapel, FL with Dr. Philip Nation officiating.