Mary Brucker | Obituary

Mary Wicks Brucker died peacefully in her sleep on June 5 2023, after a long decline with dementia and aphasia. To the end, she wanted those around her to feel comfortable, and worked to find purpose in her life.

Mary was born in Seattle in 1933 to Joe and Mabel Wicks. Her father soon moved the young family to Grand Coulee, and eventually to Omak, WA where she spent the majority of her childhood with her parents and younger sister JoAnn. She spoke about a childhood where she roamed widely with other children, swam in the river, and read any book she could find.

She received a BA from Stanford University in 1955, then returned to Seattle to attend law school at the University of Washington. One of only a few women to attend in the 1950s, she faced resistance to her place there and later in the workplace. She was told outright that she took the place in law school that should have gone to a man. But she did not let such obstacles deter her. She worked at the King County prosecutor’s office after joining the bar, and later in private practice and as a law clerk. She took time off to start her family, but did not stop working for long. In 1976 she was appointed and later elected as the district court judge on Mercer Island, and again appointed and then elected to King County Superior Court in 1984, where she worked until her retirement in 1997. She enjoyed the intellectual challenges of being a judge, and appreciated the variety of individuals and subject matters that she encountered.

She married Thomas Brucker in 1962, and soon after moved to the Mercer Island home they shared for their life together. That home hosted many friends and family, exchange students, neighborhood get-togethers and dinner parties, and Mary was the warm heart at the center of it. Together she and Tom raised a family, climbed mountains – until a fall broke her back in 1973 – fought for and explored the wilderness, conversed, and traveled near and far.

After retirement, she and Tom kept traveling, bicycling, and exploring the wilderness. She continued to serve the community as a member of The Soroptimists, on the Seattle Ethics and Election Board, for the Mountaineers Foundation, in the Stephen Ministries at MI Presbyterian Church, as a middle school tutor, and in other small ways. She maintained life-long friendships, and continued to make strong connections with new people she met. She was highly engaged in the world, a good listener, and always looked ahead to the next adventure. She will be greatly missed.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband Tom, daughter Sydney, and sister JoAnn Thomas of Omak. She is survived by daughter Allison, son Christopher (Walter), daughter Rachel (Jeff), grandchildren Lillian and Olivia, nieces, nephews, and many friends. We want to thank the caregivers from Andelcare, Sunrise of Mercer Island and Evergreen Hospice that made the end of her life better.

A service will be held at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church on Sunday July 30 at 2:00pm, with reception to follow. Remembrances may be made to Family Law CASA (, or to any non-profit that benefits those in need.