Nico Brouwer, eldest son of Albert and Aafje Brouwer, passed from this life in the late afternoon of May 22, 2013.
He was born in occupied Holland on August 5, 1944 in the midst of WWII. In May 1957, as a teenager, he came by ocean line to America with his parents, two brothers, and a sister. They eventually settled in Poynette, where he graduated from high school. He enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam conflict and served as an MP in Saigon. Thereafter he graduated from the UW-Madison and joined first the Air National Guard, then the Army National Guard where he served until his medical problems forced him to retire.
He married Jan (Hustad) Mair on February 10, 1978 and they and her two very young daughters, Lizzie and Debbie, bought an old farmstead atop WIBU hill overlooking Poynette and the county-side. He was lucky enough to be there until the last few months when his condition deteriorated beyond the ability of his wife to manage at home. His stay in a care facility was mercifully brief.
For many years he held a Real Estate license and sold homes as independent agent in addition to conducting appraisals for agencies and banks in the area. Nico was ever the good Dutchman and maintained his affinity for water by creating a business (antique booth and ebay) centered on the great Lakes, and by being one of the founding members of the Madison soccer club, The 56ers. He loved the Badger Car Ferry and served abroad as Purser for several years (his dream job).With soccer, he was both player and eventually referee, which duties he happily performed even when his ability to speak was compromised. The peculiar sport of curling filled in during the winter months when he got older. And he was always ready for a good card game, but woe to those playing if he wasn’t winning. Other passions included folk dancing, international music, auctions, antiquing, second hand stores, yard sales and the like where he would find Dutch treasures for his mother. He did do home repairs but, having inherited two left hands from his father, attempts were always makeshift and “good enough”. Frugal by nature, he was extremely proud of the astronomically high miles he would get on his vehicles. There was not a stray cat or injured creature or spider or worm he would not go out of his way to save. His stubborn and contrary nature served him well because he fought through every setback during his long, relentless decline.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Jan; his stepdaughter Elizabeth and his grandchildren Seth and Sierra; his stepdaughter Deborah; his mother Aafje; brother Bert (Jane and her children Whit and Lisa); brother Onno (Stefanie and daughters Marieka(Jonathan Burg) and Louisa; sister Wilma(Jim Herwig); and his latest stray The Little Groomer. He was preceded in death by his father Albert, his mother-in-law Virginia Hustad, his grandparents , and many aunts and uncles.
The entire family wishes to thank the staffs of the VA Hospital, the VA Hsopice, the UW Hospital, Good Samaritan ofLodi, ans the Arlington Fire and Rescue. Their help, care, and concern was incalculable. Nico personally expressed his gratitude for his brother Onno, who steadfastly helped him through the last 3-4 years of his medical ordeal. Burial will be a private gathering in Poynette’s Hillside Cemetery at a later date.
Hamre Gunderson Funeral & Cremation Care
157 S. Main St., Lodi
Burial will be a private gathering in Poynette’s Hillside Cemetery at a later date.