ANN J. BRUGGER
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Ann Jeannette Brugger joined the angels in heaven on July 1, 2021 at the Ames House, Hospice of the Western Reserve in Westlake, Ohio after spending several months at home surrounded by and cared for by her ever devoted family.
She was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer in March, and faced this challenge with grace, courage, and dignity; as she did with all other things in life. The family wishes to thank both the Western Reserve Hospice residential and home care nursing teams in demonstrating genuine nurturing and compassion, patience and expertise, and advocating for her comfort in allowing her to remain at home as long as feasible, and in their caring professionalism and continued advocacy for her dignity and comfort guiding her and her family through the end of her journey. Your dedication to your calling is strikingly powerful.
Mom was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on June 3, 1939, the 5th of 6 children, to Sybil Elizabeth Wuesthoff ( Condon) and Edward Nicholas Wuesthoff. She is preceded in death by her brothers Manthorne, David, and Joel Wuesthoff and sister Virginia Marie Frost-Jensen. Ann is survived by her brother Rafael John Wuesthoff ( Betty) of Portland, Maine.
Ann and family spent an exciting youth traveling across the country as the family of a post office worker, living in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, New Mexico, and finally back to New England. She had especially fond memories of life on their farm in Maine, Sylvan Acres. From milking ornery cows, being the family specialist in baking pies and cakes, convincing their parents to keep the prize pig as a pet, fishing for dinner while praying to St. Blase, to cold winters and stoking furnaces in early morning hours. She graduated from Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire, where she was active in the choir with her best friend Patty, sister Virginia, brother John, making it all the way to the New Hampshire All State Choir.
She graduated from the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing at Dartmouth College in 1960 where she began her career nurturing others. She served on all the various hospital floor settings in Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, and Lorain County Community Hospital in Lorain, Ohio.
Ann is preceded in death by her first husband, Thomas Wood, whom she met at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire; she as the school nurse, and he the athletic director and chair of the mathematics department. With Thomas, she began her family and her calling as a mother with her sons, Thomas Wood, Jr. ( Marina), Daniel Patrick Wood, Douglas A. Wood ( Linda), and daughter Jennifer Elizabeth Gatsch ( Peter). She is also pre-deceased by her second husband, Dr. Gerold E. Brugger, whom she met while working alongside caring for patients at Lorain Community Hospital in Lorain, Ohio. Together, her family grew to include Virginia Bertha-Anne Brugger (Ed), and Jeannette Maria Brugger (Jamie).
Ann’s legacy lives on in passing down her ‘Wuesthoff’ sense of humor to her children, her love of ‘roughing it’ in nature, camping and hiking the Alps to the Appalachian trail, singing on family car trips or with her daughters in the church choir (Mom always had the most beautiful voice), music of any variety – orchestral, musical theater, folk, 1950’s and 60’s pop , her voracious appetite for reading, studying health and the natural sciences, traveling the U.S. and across Europe to experience art, culture and landscape, extended family vacations in Kennebunk Port and Cape Elizabeth, Maine, rescuing dogs and the occasional wild animal, and joy of all children. Her overall message that ‘Family is the most important thing’ and to ‘Keep the Faith’ we’ll hold dearly always in our hearts.
Ann’s love of and pride in her grandchildren were the presiding joys in her life, and nothing made her happier than a smile, hug, and a story from a little (or big) one. Sophie and Daniel Wood, Audrey, Olivia, and Amanda Gatsch, Aspen Wood, Noah and Quinn Riley, and Amelia and Thomas Brugger- Ford were all the apples of her eye.
Family will receive friends 10:30 am until 12 noontime of Mass on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 200 St. Joseph Dr., Amherst. Pastor Rev. Timothy O’Connor will officiate, with burial following at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Avon. Garland -Misencik Funeral Home, Amherst entrusted with arrangements.