Evelyn Nuzum Brocher

Feb 28, 1925 - Oct 28, 2019


Brocher, Evelyn Nuzum

Aged 94, died peacefully on Oct. 28, 2019 at Sacramento, CA.

Mrs. Brocher was born on Feb. 28, 1925 at La Crosse, Wisconsin, daughter of the late Leland George and Arvilla (Belden) Nuzum.

She took great pride and interest in her family history. She was a descendant of two passengers of the Mayflower, George Soule and Thomas Rogers; of Susannah Martin, one of the women hanged for witchcraft in Salem in 1692; of several New Englanders who served in the Revolutionary War; and of French Huguenots who immigrated to Pennsylvania via Ireland in 1752. Her ancestors settled in western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota in the 1850s. Her paternal great-grandfather, George Washington Nuzum, was a circuit-riding Methodist minister in western Wisconsin.

Evelyn was raised at Viroqua, Vernon Co., Wisconsin, and attended public schools there.

Evelyn and her younger sister, Priscilla, were great friends. They loved to ride together on their scooters and bikes, to play with their dolls in the backyard playhouse, and to dress up and vamp in their mother’s furs, pearls, and high-heels. Together they were great pranksters too. One elderly couple who visited their parents were puzzled by all the honks, waves, and smiles they received on their home to Chicago. Only once they had arrived home did they notice the “Just Married” that they had written in the dust on the trunk of their car.

She graduated from Viroqua High School in the class of 1943 in the midst of World War II. She started in the nursing program at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the week of her high school graduation, and graduated with the class of 1948 with a degree in Public Health Nursing. She had hoped to join the war effort but much to her disappointment her father did not give her his permission to sign up.

She married Donald E. Brocher on October 23, 1948, at Viroqua, Wisconsin. They had met earlier that year at the University of Wisconsin Madison. They always laughed that on their honeymoon in Chicago, a few weeks before the 1948 presidential election, they could have attended political rallies for either President Harry Truman or his opponent, Gov. Thomas Dewey. They chose the candidate that everyone expected to win, Dewey, who lost!

After their honeymoon, they moved immediately to Hillsboro, Wisconsin, where her husband worked as the manager of her father’s lumberyard (L. G. Nuzum Lumber). They started their family and had their first two children there.

In 1954 they moved to Madison, Wisconsin, so that Don could finish his Economics degree and earn his MBA at the University of Wisconsin. They had two additional children there.

Her husband’s career with a trucking company and the U.S. Postal Service eventually took them to Birmingham and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and Rockford, Illinois.

Evelyn worked for many years as a registered nurse, including in the operating room at Madison General Hospital in the early 1960s. After the family moved to Monona in 1965 she entered data for an insurance company there. She again worked as an operating room nurse and later as dialysis nurse when the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1972. In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, she worked as the office manager for a psychiatrist. She wasn’t much impressed by the social skills of some surgeons, and delighted in the depiction of the bad bedside manners portrayed in the “Doc Martin” English TV show.

After her husband’s retirement in 1989 at Rockford, Illinois, they returned to Milwaukee where they volunteered at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preserve. She also volunteered as a “candy striper” at a local hospital. She was a lifelong and avid follower of current affairs and politics as well as American history. She also loved to travel and to take classes at elder hostels. She was an avid fan of Public Television. But playing bridge was her greatest passion, and she became a life master bridge player, having learned to play bridge from her mother.

Evelyn was a great lady and a kind, stylish, and caring person. If you did something for her, she would always thank you and express her appreciation to you. She always liked to visit with you and to hear your news.

Evelyn was survived by daughters Kathryn (Joseph) Van Sickle, of Sacramento, CA, Susan (Joseph) Krall, and son Thomas Brocher, of South San Francisco, CA; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; four nephews and three nieces.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Donald, in 2016; her sister, Priscilla Jane Peterson, in 1999; and a son, Timothy Donald, who died in 1969.

Donations in Mrs. Brocher’s memory may be made either to the staff at Carlton Senior Living, 1071 Fulton Ave., Sacramento, CA 95825, or to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preserve, 1111 E. Brown Deer Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53217.

Funeral arrangements were handled by East Lawn, Andrews & Greilich Mortuary, Sacramento. A private celebration of her life will be held.


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