Susan Simone Broncheau, 69, of Orofino, entered eternal rest Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
Susan was born Aug. 13, 1952, to Milton James Broncheau Sr. and Elizabeth Moody-Broncheau in Orofino. She was one of 19 children. Susan was a proud enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe.
When Susan was a very young girl, she had memories of going camping with her dad and family up at the Chinese hanging site near Weippe. Susan’s dad didn’t like the family being around town during big events like Fourth of July, so they would all go camping. They would take all the kids, Susan’s brothers’ kids, and their family would caravan to the mountains on all dirt roads. Back then, it took what seemed like a very long time to travel from Ahsahka to Weippe. It seemed like they were somewhere way in Montana by the time they reached their destination. On Sundays, Susan’s dad would sometimes take the kids for another outing somewhere, maybe to Zans or to Greer, and he would buy all the kids ice cream cones and then come back home.
Growing up, Susan and her family always had plenty of fish and meat, like deer or elk. Susan remembered one time they were fishing and her sister Eula caught the most fish (as usual), but this one time Susan threw her cast out and it wrapped around this log and Susan couldn’t reel it in, so her brother JR had to go out there and unwrap her line, and she actually caught a fish. It just so happened her line was wrapped around a log, on that day Susan actually caught the biggest fish, a big trout they cooked up right there at camp. Susan had many fond memories of going to the mountains hunting, fishing, gathering huckleberries, mountain tea and cous cous.
Susan enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, who she would do anything for. They enjoyed trips to the river to swim, camping, playing UNO, Yahtzee, card games, board games, movie nights, makeup parties and dress up, sleepovers, playing the guitar and piano, and listening to music. Susan attended all of the kids’ sporting events and activities, often showing up and honking from her car loud and proud letting them know she was there. The kids would often visit their Qaaca (Katsa) after school or during the day, going over for a snack or fresh, hot fry bread. They never came home empty-handed. She would watch the kids get on and off the school bus every day.
Susan enjoyed attending powwows, memorials, General Council and often went to the Clearwater River and It’se Ye-Ye casinos. She enjoyed traveling to Elder Day events on several reservations; she was often asked to make pies and fry bread for dinners. Susan was a member of the Talmaks Church, a lifelong member of the North Fork Presbyterian Church, previous member of the Nez Perce Tribal Senior Advisory Board.
Susan is survived by her daughter, Michelle (Pedro) Salazar, of Mexico; her son William Steven (Alexis) Coomer Jr., of Orofino; one sister, Dorothy (Sam) Hudson, of Peck; 11 grandchildren in order from oldest to youngest: Axel and Mikhail Mattson, of Michigan, Sebastian and Stefan Hiebert, of Orofino, Issiah (Spongebob) Coomer, Jaiden Coomer, of Orofino, Selena Salazar-Alvarez, of Mexico, Makhila Coomer, Benjamin Salazar-Alvarez, of Mexico, Ellainna and Malakhi Coomer, of Orofino; two great-grandchildren, Karsen and Rylee Hiebert, and one great-grandchild on the way.
Susan was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Walter Broncheau, Eugene L. Broncheau, William A. Broncheau, Milton J. Broncheau Jr., Donald Broncheau Sr., James B. Broncheau, Richard R. Broncheau, Kenneth Broncheau, Verle Broncheau, Janice Broncheau-Sundayman, Eula J. Broncheau-Plummer, Eleanor E. Broncheau Marks, Bessie C. Broncheau, Virginia Broncheau, and one set of twins. Susan was also preceded in death by one son, Michael Mattson.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at North Fork Presbyterian Church in Ahsahka. Burial to follow at Ahsahka Cemetery. Masks will be required during services. To-go meals will be provided at Teeweepuu Community Center in Orofino.