Suzanne M. “Sue” Bruner, age 85, of Port Washington, Wisconsin passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Friday, November 18, 2022 at the Harbor Club in Port Washington, where she had recently resided.
Sue was born on November 12, 1937 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; daughter of George E. and Lucille M. Timmer Manschot. She grew up in Shorewood, graduating from Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee. Sue married Francis Groth in 1955. They had three children, John, Steve and Katie. Sue became a single mother at a time when it was uncommon and decided to earn an associate’s degree in nursing from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1967. Later returning to college to complete her bachelor’s degree.
Throughout her career in health care, Sue worked as a nurse, supervisor, and then administrator. She worked at Columbia Hospital, Shorewood Manor Nursing Home, the State of Wisconsin, Plymouth Manor, and Green Tree Health Care Center. She finished her career in 2001 as the Nursing Home Administrator for Greendale Heath Care Center in Sheboygan.
In the late 1970’s a marriage to Pat Montalto brought Sue to her adopted hometown of Port Washington where they owned and operated the Sundance Bar. Years later, following her divorce from Pat, Sue met and married the love of her life Ken Bruner. Ken and Sue continued to run Sundance for several more years.
Throughout her life Sue gave her time and talents to a variety of civic and volunteer organizations including: the Senior Center, Ambulance Service, Chamber of Commerce, Commission of Aging, the Historical Society, St. Mary’s Parish Christian Women, Interfaith Caregivers, and the City of Port Washington Ethics Committee. She also dedicated countless hours to Port Washington Fish Day, serving for many years as the president and then later as the treasurer. In recognition of her civic contributions, Sue received the key to the city of Port Washington.
Following her retirement as a nursing home administrator, Sue followed in her father’s footsteps and received her realtor license and worked for Schmit Realty of Port Washington.
Retirement didn’t slow Sue down. She and Ken were able to travel. They enjoyed planning Fall and Winter trips all across America and Mexico, including cruises to the South and Alaska.
Sue also authored the sesquicentennial book about the history of Port Washington: Port Washington 1835 to 1985. In 2003, Sue also co-wrote another historical book for the 150th anniversary of St. Mary’s Parish in Port Washington. Sue was the family historian and compiled pictures and records for generations to come.
Sue was especially proud of her family’s legacy at Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake and being able to pass this on to future generations. She enjoyed spending every summer since she was born at the family cottage on Big Cedar Lake.
Summertime at the Lake was always front and center. The Lake meant family. Spending time on the porch-listening to the sounds of Summer. Watching children play, relaxing on the pier, reading a book or floating in tubes with family and friends-many or few. Talking, laughing, relaxing – this was her paradise. She looked forward to this every year, forever grateful our family was able to enjoy the cottage throughout our lifetime. It was the one thing that never changed.
Sue had a love for life and energy matched by few. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend. No event ever went unnoticed. She was so very thoughtful, generous and kind. Laughter was never far away. Sue was our “rock” and our “glue”. Her void can never be filled. We will miss her always and cherish our memories until we meet again.
Survived by her husband Ken , her children John (Annie) Groth of Milwaukee, Steve Groth of the town of Grafton and Katie (Tom) Beilfuss of the town of Saukville, Ken’s children John (Robin) Bruner of Ixonia and Angela Bruner (Jeff) of Watertown, grandchildren Kari (Vince) Anewenter, Jennifer Groth, Melissa (Thad) Smith, Jon (Ula) Manschot, Joshua (Sheena) and Lindsey Beilfuss (Jon), Morgan and Molly Bruner, great-grandchildren Alex, Jessica, Oliver, Elias, Felix, Audrey, Mason, and Silas, her sister Jackie Dietzler of Port Washington, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Sue is preceded in death by her parents, two sisters Kathy Manschot and Nancy Ubert and two grandsons Aaron and Matthew Groth.
Thank you to Allay Hospice and Prime Horizon Home Health Care for their support and assistance during this difficult time. A special thank you to Tina, Kelly, Stacey, Becky, Ana, Sammy and Renee.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 12 Noon, Saturday, November 26, 2022 at St. John XXIII Parish – St. Mary’s Church, 451 N. Johnson Street, Port Washington, WI. Reverend Patrick Wendt will be the celebrant. Visitation will take place from 10-11:45 AM Saturday AT CHURCH prior to Mass. Interment will take place St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington.
Memorials to the Friends of the Port Washington Senior Center appreciated.