Susie Romano

January 1, 2022

Oregon, WI - OREGON - Susie Romano, age 76, of Oregon, Wis., died of natural causes on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. She was born in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and grew up in Racine, Wis., attending St. Rose Elementary School and St. Catherine's High School. Susie lived a rich Irish Catholic childhood enjoying the love and company of aunts and uncles, grandparents, many wonderful cousins, neighborhood friends, her sister, Peggy, and devoted single mom, Cathy. Post high school Susie worked for a brief time as a dental assistant, then joined the Milwaukee-based School Sisters of Notre Dame where she assumed the identity of the much beloved "Sister Marirose" whose primary role was caring for frail and dying sisters at the Sisters' Elm Grove infirmary. Because of her warm smile and contagious energy she was often compared by family and friends and future spouse to Julie Andrew's Maria in the Sound of Music. Susie lived with the School Sisters for six years and completed her nursing degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Susie married Sam Romano in 1972, a former classmate and good friend from St. Catherine's who had also recently completed several years of studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee.

Susie and husband, Sam, moved to Elkhorn, Wis., in 1973 where they resided for 35 years, raised their family (Michael, Patrick and Margaret) and enjoyed rich friendships and community. "Go Elks!" With a background in Obstetrics Susie was a pioneer in birthing classes and introduced natural childbirth classes to the Elkhorn and Burlington communities. Over 10 years she provided encouragement and instruction for literally thousands of mothers and couples in Southeastern Wisconsin and nudged local hospitals to provide family-based birthing.

After local hospitals began providing birthing education services, Susie began work as a psychiatric nurse at the Lakeland Counseling Center in Elkhorn. In 1990 she found a new passion and began work in hospice and palliative care. She was a "hospice nurse" for 15 years working for the VNA out of Elkhorn and HospiceCare (Agrace) of Fitchburg, Wis. She completed her career working again as a psychiatric nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison. When Susie worked in hospital settings, she took great pride spending time with patients. She was a caring nurse and a strong patient advocate (which sometimes got her into trouble). She did her best to help patients find ways to feel in control and be comfortable. Such a nurse!

Susie and Sam would have been married 50 years on July 29, 2022. They were blessed to have three amazing children, Michael, Patrick and Margaret; and ten wonderful, superlative grandchildren, Josephine, Rory, Alice, Dove, Juniper, Elsa and Coco in Colorado, and Eliot, Isaiah and Emanuelle in Baraboo, Wis. Susie was a devoted mom, and tried as best she could to balance Sam's easy going parenting style. (thanks Susie). Susie was the best Oma and enjoyed dancing with her grandchildren, reading with them and giving them good books to read, having long talks and attending as many of their sporting events as she could.

She loved camping (Lake Kegonsa and Governor Dodge parks) and travel and was able to get to China, Argentina, Central Europe, Alaska and Mexico, and seven years ago drove solo to New Mexico and surrounds pulling a 15-foot camping trailer. Susie was an avid reader and a frequent patron of Barnes and Noble. In recent days, friends have described Susie as kind, strong, independent, fierce, a very good friend and sometimes even a little stubborn.

Susie is survived by her husband, Sam; children, Mike (Molly Romano), Patrick (Natalie Hammang) and Margaret (FL Morris); and forever son-in-law, Jeremiah Thompson; and grandchildren. She is also survived by "the group" of 50 years, camping and travel buddies, dear aunts Ruth and Jackie; uncle Mick; all the Schoene's and Drummond's; her wonderful cousins; nieces and nephews; the Jude clan, "Sam's family"; her good friend and neighbor, Dorothy; and many close, close souls in her life. You know who you are.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Cathy Jordan; and stepfather, Bruno Jordan; sister, Peggy Jude; and brother-in-law, Jack Jude.

A celebration of Susie's life will be planned in late spring or early summer at a park or lake (to be determined). Memorials on Susie's behalf can be made to the Wisconsin Medical Project, 26 North Prospect Ave., Madison, WI 53726, which donates medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and clinics in areas of great need, Cuba and several African countries. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Gunderson Oregon

Funeral & Cremation Care

1150 Park St.

(608) 835-3515

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