- 68 years old
- Date of birth: May 16, 1947
- Place of birth:
Wauseon / Fulton County, Ohio, United States
- Date of passing: Jun 2, 2015
This memorial website was created in loving memory my mother, Sue Ann (Ray) Nofziger. I'm doing this in lieu of any service or ceremony.
I hope that you find the pictures and stories here a tribute to my mother. I also hope that you will, if you feel moved, leave your own stories/pictures/tributes to my mother. In this way, this site will go from being "Tara's version of Sue Ann" to something more rich and varied.
I have found great support and comfort from notes left by friends and family on the Caring Bridge site while she was alive; I suspect your thoughts and feelings here will do the same for me and others now that she's gone.
If you feel moved, please consider making a donation in honor of Sue Ann to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (link is to fundraising page). Thank you!
~Tara, daughter of Sue Ann
"I have so many things in my life that remind me of you Sue Ann. Including my birthday now because I spent it with you last year. You are missed, but you left so many wonderful memories, so much love here for us to remember you by. Thank you."
"Sometimes I think grief isn't so much about healing, but about finding the courage over time to remember even thought it hurts at first; to reclaim every special moment and hold on to the joy it brought, despite the awareness of loss it triggers. I know you have so many of those moments with your mother - times when you laughed together about something one of you said, and other times just being together. My wish for you is that when you remember your mother now and mark the passing of a year since she died, there will be a smile on your face even though tears are blurring your eyes.. -love, Alan"
I was in shock when you informed me of your mother's passing. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I remember your mom having such a big smile and even a bigger heart. Growing up as a kid I remember her making ginger bread house's. One year she made ginger bread girls and boys for all of us kids that went to the subdivision Christmas party. I think I may still have mine. She made the prettiest cakes for special occasions and even if it wasn't a special occasion. She always remembered my birthday. She would get me a card and sometimes a special treat. I loved going over to your house and hanging out with her . She was the " cool" neighborhod parent. She let me call her Sue Ann and not Mrs Nofzinger. Keep her memories close to your heart. Think of all the great things you and her did together. It will make those sad times a little less sad. Thank you so very much for taking such wonderful care if such a wonderful woman. I know it wasn't easy but it has made you the person you are today . Thoughts and prayers. God Bless."
"I've been thinking about your mom the past few days. And I wish I had a poetic string of words to say why, but I don't. She's such a key part of three of the most important celebrations in my life, and maybe as I think on the shift my life is taking, it somehow brings up memories of your mom. Who knows how our minds work at times and how things are connected. But I am so happy I connected with her in life and have tokens of her kindness that will be with me and my family.
I was saddened to learn of your mother's passing when reading the Archbold Buckeye. I am so sorry and send my deepest sympathy. Sue Ann, her brothers and I went to Pettisville High together. I was a year ahead of her, but we were in cheerleading together and were majorette's in the band. I have wonderful memories of those days together with her. I am so sorry that she had the battle she did with cancer. Please give your uncle Jim my regards and sympathy also. May God be near you and may He be your comfort in the days ahead. Diane Seiler Young"
I was one of her classmates at Pettisville. Went there from Kindergarten to Graduation, so I knew your mom pretty good. She was a very fine person, the whole time I knew her. So was your grandfather and grandmother. I was one of your dad's (Johnny as I called him) buddies, actually he was my neighbor.
My condolences to you and yours. I know she made it to heaven..
"I went to school when your grandparents worked at the school at Pettisville. Sue Ann was in my sister Patty's grade. I was 6 years older. I am sorry about her passing and her fight with breast cancer, and can tell by the pictures that she was a wonderful mother and will be missed by you. Thank you for sharing them."
"My memories of your mother are of her early years as a child. I'm not sure she was even in school. I baby sat when your grandpa and grandma Ray wanted to go out for the evening. It was her two brothers and her. I always thought she was a cute little sweetheart."
"My dear friend, Julie Heiple Menna posted this on Facebook the day my mom died. It's so beautiful, I want to include it here...
"I have a diary entry dated Feb 14 1984 noting that "Tara's mom Sue Ann Nofziger made personalized heart shaped cookies for the entire 2nd grade class". For the next 31 years, I would find many other things Sue Ann did to be spectacular. She made the best no bake cookies, indulged Tara and I on school night sleepovers in 5th and 6th grade, always had frozen slices of Sara Lee Apple pie in the freezer, would come to East Lansing and take Tara and I out for dinner countless times in college, listened to all of our boy stories. What always amazed me most was the relationship her and Tara had. It is a Gilmore Girls relationship in real life. It is their bond that I have tried and will continue to try and emulate with my daughter. Over the past almost decade, Tara has cared for her mom through her fight with cancer. Tara was her mom's champion with insurance companies and doctors, financial planners and specialists. This afternoon, we had to say goodbye to this fabulous woman. I am so grateful that I had the privilege to know her for most of my life and that her daughter is like a sister to me. Love you Tara Nofziger, you did and will always make your mom so proud.""
It feels like I've known your mom as long as I've known you - and I guess one way or another - that is true. I remember where I was when you first learned your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I sat next to you in 2-1E and you stood up in shock after the phone call. I remember talking with you about it right then. Must have been in 2000 or 2001. Shortly after we got a bunch of people to do the Y-Me Race downtown - Baxter was one of the sponsors (I still have the t-shirt). Your mom came down from Michigan and walked with us. I know I have a photo of our group - but cannot find it anywhere!
Since then, I feel lucky to have gotten to know your mom a little bit over the years. I'm grateful that you and I could share our journeys of caring for our parents. I'm also very grateful for the way your mom mothered you - so that you could just be you. She encouraged what she saw in you and you embraced it. That has had a trickle affect on me and I'm more centered because of it.
The standout memory with your mom for me is, of course, making Beef Bourguignon and watching Julie and Julia or some other movie. We started this annual tradition on thanksgiving weekend, although it morphed to December some years. That first year we followed Julia Child's recipe to a T (except for the bacon fat) and your mom spent a lot of time trimming pearl onions - and maybe cursing a little in the process...
I can remember her in some big moments for me... at the first Easter gathering I hosted at my townhouse, at my wedding, guarding the sliding doors so that no one would enter while we were having some family prayer time. I do have a picture of her by the door and hopefully you will find it (assuming I figured out how to upload it). She was willing to donate many of her things to raise money for the adoption of my niece (who will hopefully be home this summer). This past year, I'm especially grateful that she met and spent a little time with each of my kids. They are short on grandparents, and I appreciate that your mom was willing to engage with them.
My whole family, literally (Marie, Pam, Harold, Grant, Damian, Ruben, Nevaeh, Rainer, Opa) expresses their condolences to you. Much love to you sister-friend! I hope we can continue to lean on each other as we learn about being mid-life orphans.
XO - KB"
While I never actually met your mother, I feel like I got to know all about her through you. I always admired how much you did for her and it was so evident through your words that you cared for her unconditionally. She is lucky to have had such a loving daughter in her life, which I know what a huge part of why and how she was able to put up such a strong-willed fight to cancer.
Thinking of you!
"Tara, our family loved visiting the Ray family in Pettisville, Ohio. We cousins would go walking "downtown" to get ice cream or pop cycles at the grocery. I always loved Sue Ann's hearty laugh. We roller skated over the side walks, which, of course, we didn't have on our farm. I also remember playing on the school playground equipment with Sue Ann and her brothers. We had such fun!! I certainly do miss her. And I thank you, Tara, for your wonderful love and care for your Mom through the years, especially recently. You are a very special daughter.
Love, Connie Cramer"
I only met your mom a couple of times along the way, so I didn't really know her. But I sure heard a lot about her from the amazing daughter she raised. I know how close the two of you were, how many things you did together, and the fact that she was willing to leave the comfort of her Michigan home to move to Chicago to be nearer to her daughter. She raised a daughter who has become a sort of beacon of friendliness and positivity, combined with incredible intellect, who ventured out on her own to the big city of Chicago in 1997 as a college junior to take on a summer internship with a small consulting practice in the middle of this big urban jungle, and who has consistently made her own breaks and built an admirable career in organizational talent management with some very impressive organizations. Those things don't happen by accident. So I know for sure that parenting was a major contribution that your mom made to our world. It sounds like she was brave till the end, from what you have said. So I wish you all loving memories you can muster for these months and years ahead. Thanks for including me in your journey.
Steve Garrett, friend and fellow talent management consultant"
"By Sue Nofziger — Jun 11, 2015 8:02am (Caring Bridge site)
Since I first met her, the memory I will always have is her welcoming smile, which was inviting and calming at the same time. I always treasured seeing the many projects she would work on from making miniature gingerbread houses to hang on a Christmas tree to turning a piece of barnyard "junk" into a beautiful wall hanging. She could make the most delicious and pretty sugar cookies for Christmas I have ever seen or eaten to this day! And she always had interesting ideas to discuss and elaborate on. I enjoyed our talks and discussions. Though from time to time there was a bit of confusion with our first and last names being the same, that just led to some funny stories! I know these last years were incredibly tough, but somehow she endured more than most people ever could and enjoyed her life till the end. I admire the relationship you and she had immensely, and you are to be totally commended for your endless devotion and love and care for her always. She could not help but feel and appreciate that. She will be missed but she's your mom forever!! God bless!
It was always the best day when daddy would say"get ready we are going to Pettisville." Another great day was waiting with my cousins and Connie, Lois, and Ray at the end of Grandma Hannewalds lane for the Ray family to arrive for the weekend!! Your mother had the sweetest smile and kindest laugh!! You and your beautiful mother were an amazing team!! Sue Ann always had delicious baked items ready when we stopped by on our way to Higgins Lake, Michigan. Thank you for taking such wonderful care of your mother!! We have such fond memories and such fun together!! Love and hugs!! Vera"
I had not heard so thank you for letting me know your beautiful mother has 'gone missing'. Though I never met her, she was an inspiration to me. You might assume my admiration comes from her valiant battle with cancer over the years, and certainly that deserves much admiration. But for me, it is so much more than that. She inspires me as a mother. You are an amazing person and I smile when I think about some of the stories you have shared with me over the years and how your eyes would light up as you shared memories and experiences with your mom. You have the most amazing relationship and that is a beautiful testament to her. I love the idea that a tree will be planted in her home town, and her ashes will be spread in two important places from her life, and while she has gone missing physically, she will always be found in you. I will keep you close in my thoughts and hope to see you soon to share a hug.
My deepest sympathies,
My deepest condolences on the passing of your mother.
I found your loving and caring of her since I've know you to be that of a wonderful daughter. Your mother was a very kind and gentle person, although I only had the pleasure of meeting her a couple times, the bond between you two was incredible.
You will always have fond memories of a wonderful mother. The photos and her story is very sweet.
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