In Loving Memory of Sue Ann Backofen
Sue Ann (aka Mom or Grannie) passed away on April 25, 2020 at the age of seventy-seven at home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mom called the Springs home for over 50 years, she lived her with her youngest son Michael and wife Shana since 2002. Her last few days were lovingly surrounded by her family and comforted by the prayers of her friends and loved ones across the country.
Mom was born in 1943 in Logan, West Virginia to Donna Bell Farmer and Herbert Farmer. She experienced life has a coalminers daughter when Herbert was unfortunately killed in a coalmining accident before she was born leaving her mother to raise her and her older brother Robert Farmer. Donna Bell Farmer remarried and gave Sue four additional siblings: Patricia, Norville, La Donna, and Gregory.
Sue married Clarence Robert Sanderson in 1961 and went through the adventure of being a military wife when Clarence was sent all over the world. Mom became custom to being alone with her children. Mom lived in Cleveland, Ohio, San Pedro California, where she was asked to be a model, but her children were her priority and she did not pursue that career. Mom enjoyed living in Turkey, she lived off base so she could experience the Turkish culture and took it in for all that it was worth. In 1974 she parted ways with Clarence. In 1984 she fell in love with William Backofen and married him. Her marriage ended when Bill died of cancer in 1986. She never remarried.
Mom had different careers which included: pharmacy technician, hospitality at the Broadmoor hotel, and working with hockey and figure skaters at the World Arena. She retired from the World Arena in 2004. Her favorite job was being a mother and grandmother. She liked shopping for school clothes, area rugs, or anything that would make you feel beautiful or your home feel more inviting.
Mom was a loving and caring individual who experienced life to the fullest. She was unique in the fact that everyone was welcome. Any day a diverse group of friends and neighbors could be found around the kitchen table. She always provided a place to stay or a meal when she heard of someone in need.
Mom could make miracles out of nothing; simple biscuits and gravy were a family favorite for breakfast or dinner. Pepper steak and cabbage rolls were birthday favorites. Her reputation of being a great cook was known throughout the neighborhood.
Mom had the patience of a saint. Her kids loved to bring home strays and rescues. She never knew what we would come home with or who. Sometimes it was a classmate and other times it could be a wounded wild animal. Mom had many rescue dogs over the years. At the end, her mill dog rescue a Shih Tzu named Bree and her boychik a Lhasa Apso named Ollie provided her comfort and dinning partners…who she shared many snacks and meals.
Some of her kids and grandkids favorite memories centered around lighting a candle, and Mom telling scary stories. She had a knack of making the simplest things exciting and memorable. If you had the pleasure of sitting around in the dark listening, you were truly blessed.
Mom was very flexible and was always up for an adventure like leaving in the afternoon to drive to Las Vegas, NV to celebrate a birthday. She traveled to San Diego, CA, Santa Fe, NM, Orlando, FL and to basketball tournaments in Kansas and drove across country to see her mother in Ashland, KY.
Sue is Honored/Survived by her three children, Rob Sanderson, Hope Burger, and Michael Sanderson and remembered by her Son in Law, Robert Burger, her Daughter in Laws, El and Shana, and Granddaughter in Law Jaclynn. Her four grandchildren and one great grandchild and more to come, Dustin Sanderson, Kaitlyn Burger, Evan Burger, Jillian Burger and Dillon Sanderson. Her sisters and brother: Patricia Van Gilder (AL), LaDonna Robbins (KY), and Norville Thompson (KY) and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Sue was predeceased in death by her father Herbert Farmer, mother Donna Bell Thompson, her son Mark Sanderson and her brothers Robert Farmer and Greg Thompson.
May all the memories of Sue bring peace, joy and love to all that were lucky to have known her. Please take a moment and have your favorite food this week, call or hug a loved one, and drink a toast to the best mom, grannie, sister, and friend anyone knew.
In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite cause.