Mary Ellen Brucker Obituary

By | May 19, 2021

Mary Ellen Brucker (née Shelton)

August 7, 1926 – April 26, 2021

Mary Ellen (Mellon) was born in Seattle, WA, moving with her family to the Philippines in 1928.  The family returned to the United States in 1938 and settled in Mill Valley, California, where she attended high school, before attending Stanford University (‘47), where she majored in journalism and was an editor of the Stanford Daily.

After college, Mary Ellen moved east, first working for a newspaper in Stamford, CT before taking a position with for Voice of America in New York and Washington, DC, writing for the Korean, Hungarian and Chinese news services.  On a trip to Europe in 1959 she met Eugene (Gene) Brucker of St. Louis; they married the same year.  Mary Ellen worked in public relations and was active with Alpha Phi, Women in Communications, and was a long-time board member for Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital.  She was a regular at her Stanford class and Daily reunions.  She and Gene were avid travelers, visiting countries all over the world, including Thailand, China, Libya, Cameroon, India and most every country in Europe.

Mary Ellen joined the St. Louis Camera Club and Photographic Society of America in 1961 and, with Gene, were active until she suffered a stroke in 2015.  Within the St. Louis Camera Club, she accumulated 237 points, reaching Salon Class in Color, Photo Travel and Photojournalism.  Teaming with Gene, they won the SLCC Travelogue competition twice and finishing second two times.  Ironically, the SLCC winning programs took second at the PSA conventions, while their second place finishes in SLCC won the PSA competition.  They were often judging local competitions and chaired or otherwise worked on the Mississippi Valley Salon for years.

Mary Ellen was extensively involved with PSA, serving as the Public Relations Vice President from 1992-97, during which time she created 6 new brochures and a promotional slide program.  She then served in Photo Travel Division as Secretary from 1998-2004, Awards Chair from 2000-03, and as Division Chair from 2004-2008.  She continued serving in Photo Travel Division working on the Exhibition Standard Committee from 2008-12.  In 2013 she authored what is now the international standard guide on what is a Photo Travel Picture.  She also squeezed in a 2-year stint as Color Slide Program director.  She and Gene co-chaired the 2009 Travel Print Section of PSA International.  She was awarded 4 Bronze and 2 Silver Editorial Stars for articles published in the PSA Journal.  For over 20 years she and Gene were regular presenters at the PSA convention with their Anatomy of a Travelogue program.  She earned her Associate PSA title in 1983, was awarded her Fellow of PSA in 1997 and in 2015 received PSA’s highest honor, Honorary PSA. 

She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Ann Brucker of Ottawa, Canada, her son E. Edward Brucker III, daughter-in-law Joyce Brucker, grandson Milo Brucker, and granddaughter Melanie Brucker, all of St. Louis.  Because of COVID no service is planned.  In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Ranken Jordan (www.rankenjordan.org/give).