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Lac du Flambeau's First Lady Remembered in Celebration of Life

From Lac du Flambeau News

Published May 3, 2024

Last week's celebration of life for Manidoo-Wegin (Sue Johnson) saw hundreds and hundreds of people attend her ceremony over two days. Family and friends, spiritual and tribal leaders, neighbors, school colleagues and children traveled from near and far to honor and remember the First Lady of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

By all accounts, Sue impacted people around her through kindness, guidance and helping others. She was known as Grandma Sue by her own grandchildren as well as the students she helped guide during her work at the school. From the conversations at Sue's ceremony to social media posts, the outpouring of love for Sue traveled far and wide. A common theme among all the sentiment was the impact she had on each person's life.

Sue's children and grandchildren stood up and spoke about their memories at the ceremony. Memories they shared drew laughs, and, at times, tears of joy and of sorrow. Four young girls from the school where Sue worked got up to share their thoughts on Grandma Sue. All four found the courage to stand and share their thoughts by holding each other's hand in an effort not to cry while speaking about Grandma Sue.

Her husband and Tribal President John Johnson spoke of the 24 years they spent together. With spiritual strength and deep belief, President Johnson shared his faith in the Creator and Sue's walking on to be with those who have gone before her. He and others danced as Sue's grandchildren and other community members drummed and sang to celebrate Sue. At one point, those four young girls from Sue's school gave President Johnson a big hug. That was one of many moments where the genuine love and affection Sue brought out in people was on full display.  

“Our entire family is so grateful for all who came out to honor and celebrate Sue's life," Tribal President Johnson said. "There are so many people who made this a wonderful ceremony filled with love. People cooked wonderful food. Spiritual leaders provided calming guidance. Community members called and texted heart-warming support. Family, friends and co-workers shared memories and spoke out for her during her ceremony. There are so many people to thank for all you did to make this a celebration of life. My family and I thank you from the depths of our hearts."

Pictured below is a memorial honoring the contributions of Manidoo-Wegin (Sue Johnson) to her family and her community from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

1 Comment

Sending love and strength to the Lac du Flambeau community during this difficult time. Sue's impact was truly profound, and she will be dearly missed

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