It is with heavy hearts and the deepest sorrow that we share the passing of our beautiful, sweet, loving Nana and mother, Sue Brautigam. Early in the morning of December 3rd, she peacefully succumbed to a recently diagnosed brain tumor. She bravely chose to forego treatment and allow nature to take its course.
Sue was born in Appleton on July 29, 1946, to George and Mary (Kettenhofen) Ashauer. She was the middle child of five close sisters, affectionately known as the “Ashettes”, who she loved dearly. As a child she greatly enjoyed taking dance lessons, where she became quite proficient at tap dancing. Throughout her life she rarely missed an opportunity to demonstrate her skills at family gatherings. Sue attended St. Joe’s, Xavier, and Appleton High Schools where she made many dear and lifelong friends.
In 1965, Sue married the love of her life, a handsome firefighter named Robert (Bob) Brautigam. They bought a little Cape Cod style home on N. Owaissa St. where they enjoyed socializing with their friends and family. She was loved by Bob’s eight siblings and their spouses who embraced her as one of their own.
She was a loving, stay at home mother to her three children. When they were old enough to fend for themselves, Sue started working in job placement at Fox Valley Tech where she stayed for 10 years. During that time, she purchased her dream car, complete with personalized license plates that read "Susaab". In the late 1980’s Bob and Sue purchased and renovated a cottage on Spencer Lake near Waupaca where they enjoyed entertaining guests.
Sue enjoyed bowling league, the Beatles, ski weekends, watching her children’s extracurricular activities, Seals and Croft, round robins, Sunday drives in the station wagon, weekends at the farm, card games, and the occasional trips to the casino.
Over the years, Sue used her creativity to make macrame owls/hanging plant holders, window light catchers, stained glass windows, and clothes pin Christmas tree ornaments. Later in life she learned the art of quilting. She quickly excelled and made many beautiful heirloom quilts for her family to enjoy and cherish.
She was a member of a special group of friends known as the “Wild Women”. They spent many cottage weekends together in Northern Wisconsin. Most of the stories from those trips have never been revealed, but we do know they frequently laughed until they cried while participating in countless shenanigans over their many decades of friendship and sisterhood.
Sue’s mischievous smile, twinkling blue eyes and warm heart will be missed by many. We find comfort in knowing that after 20 long years she is reunited with her loving husband Bob. There is no doubt they are in the throes of a warm embrace, dancing to a Johnny Mathis song.
Sue is survived by her three children Brad (Colette Lunday) Brautigam, Carey Hanauer, and Gina (Jeff) Bojarski; and grandchildren: Oscar and Ivan Brautigam, Max and Boden Hanauer, and Sylvia and Maisey Bojarski. Susan is further survived by her loving sisters: Judy Hocking, Sandy DeBruin, and Jan Ulrich.
She was preceded in death by her sweetheart, Bob, her son-in-law, Mark Hanauer, and her sister, Mary Lou Garvey.
Our family would like to extend a most sincere thank you to everyone at Primrose Memory Care and Thedacare Hospice for the exceptional and tender care they gave her.
There will be a celebration of Sue's life for family and friends on December 22, 2022, from 4-7 pm at Pullmans Restaurant, 619 S Olde Oneida St, Appleton, WI.
In lieu of flowers there has been a memorial fund established in Sue’s name.