By Dan Walton
The valley was fortunate to attract a certain young professional in the early 1960s, but was recently tasked with the unfortunate responsibility of laying her to rest.
Susan Eleanor Engelbracht came to Invermere to fill her first position as a teacher, where she carried out her entire professional career. She spent more than 30 years as a teacher in the valley.
I really remember seeing her up at the ski hill, said teacher Barb Gagatek, a former colleague of Mrs. Engelbrachts who first met her in 1980. Up there with the Grade 7 J.A. Laird kids, and she was doing Chicks on Sticks. She was living life really large as far as I was concerned, enjoying the ski hill with a big smile, and she would always come by to say hi.
While skiing at Panorama Mountain Village, Barb said that Sue has a specific way of hitting all her favourite runs.
She was a very precise type of person who liked to follow orderly patterns we used to tease her about it, but she had her way of doing things and she liked it that way.
The slopes werent the only place Sue could be found keeping active, as track and field was one of her favourite activities. Barb also recalls seeing Sue walking to school each and every morning.
Her walking route was particularly followed each day, Barb said, just like her skiing pattern.
Sue was able to make her students understand her instruction with unique methods, Barb said. To lower the noise level in a room, Sue would ask students to use their rhubarb voices.
Most people didnt understand, but her students did, that of course a rhubarb voice was as long as a rhubarb stock which isnt very long.
Sue also served as the president of the Windermere Teachers Association during the mid-1990s. Barb remembers her utilizing all her skills in that role.
She had the same characteristics as when she was a teacher: super organized and very caring. She was caring with her students and also caring with teachers who she served as the president of the Teachers Association.
Sues current successor as the president of the Windermere Teachers Association, Doug Murray, was a teacher while Sue held the role, and remembers how much attention she gave to the members of the organization.
Her legacy to me was the way she went in and assisted teachers, he said. She went in and got things done right away and dealt with issues that were difficult.
In an email to The Pioneer, Rocky Mountain School District 6 superintendent Paul Carriere described Sue as a wonderful professional, mother and grandmother, community member and friend who will be truly missed.
Sue was born in Vancouver on April 7th, 1944, and died in Invermere on September 20th, 2013 after
becoming ill with cancer.