OBITUARY: Charlotte Lillian Sauer Brunner

Charlotte Lillian Sauer Brunner departed this earthly life on March 9th, 2021.



Charlotte was born April 7, 1937, in Cato, Wisconsin, to Agnes and Raymond Sauer, the second oldest of five children. She married the love of her life, Robert Brunner, on Feb. 1st, 1958, and over a span of 63 years, they raised five children, and enjoyed 14 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren together.


What words in the English language are sufficient to express the sum total of a person you loved? The life of Charlotte, or Char to those who knew her, calls for the most extraordinary words. A daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother, and a great grandmother are an excellent start, but she was also a beautician, owner of her own children’s clothing boutique, a Sunday school teacher, a Director of Religious Ed, a Bible study leader, a golfer, a Harley rider, avid crafter; this represents the tiniest fraction of the life of the woman we loved.


She loved her family and friends deeply and unconditionally. If you were her friend, it was for life, and she was quick to respond with an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. There was no limit to her love of family, and she was present for every significant event in the lives of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Whether it was a birthday, a graduation, a play, a ball game, a concert, or a Sacrament, you could count on seeing Nana’s smile beaming out from somewhere in the audience.


No matter if it was a cruise to Alaska, a trip to Hawaii, or the Harley rally at Sturgis, Char was ready to go; she even traveled Route 66 across the country on the back of a motorcycle behind Bob.


Words are insufficient for expressing the warmth of her hugs, the joy of her laughter, or her tremendous faith.


To know Charlotte was to know a woman who was devoted both to family and to God. A lifelong Catholic, she lived the faith daily and encouraged her family to live the same way. You always knew to pause before saying amen at the end of grace before meals because she was going to add her own special prayers of gratitude or intercession for her friends and family.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Raymond and Agnes Sauer, her in-laws, Urban and Loriene Brunner, her infant brother, Raymond Sauer, her son, Robert Brunner, and her grandson-in-law Lee Rodgers. Charlotte is survived by her husband of 63 years, Robert Brunner; her daughters Debra Behnke, Julie Olson (Wish), and Terese Brunner (Mitch Schrage), and her son Tim Brunner (Jennifer); grandchildren Corey Behnke (Rachel McCutchen), Sonia Swain (Darden), Randy Olson, Ray Olson (Marie), Angi Daus, Ric Daus, Meagan Daus, Jessica Hahn (Isaac); Josh Brunner, Abigail Heinke (Jeff), Desiree Erdmann, and Anna Brunner; great grandchildren Michaela Olson, Alana Olson, Zachary Olson, Melody Olson, Tyler Rodgers, Mia Rodgers, Oscar Hahn, Matthew (MR) Heinke, Charlie Hahn, and Lincoln Hahn; her sisters, Lucille (Ed) Wallander, Annette (Mike) Flatley, and Jan (Dick) Szalewski; brother Andrew Sauer (Linda); brother-in-law Roger Brunner (Colleen); sister-in-law Mary Herrmann (Dick); brother-in-law Ralph Brunner (Janice); and brother-in-law Jim Brunner (Diane Rachel); great-Aunt Adeline Sauer; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


Our lives will never be the same, but we rejoice in the knowledge that Char/Mom/Nana is reunited with those who went before her and that one day, we will all meet again. LovU, Nana!

Arrangements will be announced as soon as they are made; in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either The American Cancer Society or to Catholic Charities.