Our beloved Mary Lou Brackett, age 83, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on September 19, 2016. She was born into the musical family of Francis “Frank” and Mathilda “Maude” Niemer, the ninth of ten children, on October 25, 1932, in Fennimore, Wisc. She lived on the family farm outside of Fennimore until she was seven, when her mother passed away. Her oldest sister, Dorothea, then raised Mary Lou and her younger sister, Anne. Mary Lou attended Fennimore High School and while there was Junior Prom Queen and played tuba in the band.

Mary Lou married Robert “Timothy” Brackett in Fennimore on September 27, 1952, and they were married almost 50 years. She faithfully cared for Tim until his passing on March 31, 2002. Although they were not able to have children, Mary Lou considered all of her nieces and nephews her children and very faithfully stayed in touch and involved in their lives.

Mary Lou’s lifelong passions were her Catholic faith and music. She played tuba with the Waunakee Community Band for many years, until she could no longer safely lift and hold it. She played piano, and was proud to still have her parent’s old upright piano. She taught herself to play the organ, and found pride and joy in playing the organ for St. Olaf’s and its choir for almost 40 years, and made many close friends through the choir. Throughout her recent illness, she was very limited in what she could do, but prayer was her ministry to family and friends.

Mary Lou enjoyed working in a small Doctor’s office in Fennimore in her early working life, and was well-versed in medical terms and treatments. When she and Tim moved to Westport, and then DeForest, she worked for American Breeders Service and then retired from DMB Community Bank.

Mary Lou lived life to the fullest, in spite of having many life-long challenges, including fighting two types of cancer and having many surgeries in the past 26 years. She had nine lives, just like her cat! She had a lively sense of humor and a mischievous grin, which will live on in our memories of her.

She is survived by her brother, Maurice (Judy) Niemer; sister, Lorraine Hidding; brothers-in-law, Gerard Ouellette and Carl James; many nieces and nephews; many DeForest friends who were family to her; as well as her loving, faithful cat, Smudge.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Tim; her brothers, Tom (Geneva), John, and Jim (Shirley); her sisters, Dorothea, Kathleen Ouellette, Margaret (John) Williams, and Anne James; brothers-in-law, John Finley and Paul Hidding; her nephews, Baby Timmie Niemer and David Niemer; and nieces, Baby Mary Finley and Suzanne Ouellette.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the American Cancer Society or St. Olaf’s Catholic Church.

A special thanks to Agrace HospiceCare, especially her nurse, Marie, her close friends Barb Accola and Cathy Walker, and her neighbors, Rose Wood and Marty, for their care and support of Mary Lou these last several years, as well as all of Mary Lou’s special friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2016, at ST. OLAF CATHOLIC CHURCH, 623 Jefferson Street, DeForest, with Father Gary Wankerl presiding. Burial will follow at St. Olaf’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church on Saturday.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com

Until we meet again, you’ll live on in our hearts, Mary Lou! Live life to the fullest in the beauty of heaven, with eternal peace, joy, laughter, and heavenly music! We love you and will see you soon!