We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Nordman-Christian Funeral Home
Kathy Bricker was born in Toledo, Ohio on September 9, 1951 to Albert and Irene Susor. Formerly of Petoskey, she died peacefully at home in Cheboygan on March 19, 2022 from ovarian cancer. In 1973, Kathy moved to northern Michigan with her husband Jim. She worked and lived at the University of Michigan Biological Station for 8 years studying micro-crustaceans in Saginaw Bay and Lake St. Clair, while receiving her master’s degree in biology at U of M.
In the mid-1970’s Kathy advocated throughout northern Michigan to support the successful establishment of Michigan’s bottle deposit law. In the early 1980s, Kathy, as the first Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy, mobilized a grassroots effort to successfully protect 750 acres of Emmet County’s Sturgeon Bay Dunes from sand mining (now a part of Wilderness State Park). She played a key role in instituting recycling in Emmet County, and an instrumental role in Cheboygan County adopting its recycling program, now in partnership with Emmet County. From 2005 to the present, she revitalized Straits Area Audubon Society as it’s President and continued to serve in various board and leadership roles. In 2008, she started Earth-Week Plus, a hugely successful grass roots effort in Cheboygan and surrounding counties to increase awareness of environmental issues and to provide an opportunity for families to learn about nature.
She held and shared a passion to protect natural resources for future generations. Her much-anticipated annual epistles included worldwide nature travels, raising two adopted Reticulated Pythons, who were illegally brought into the US from the wilds of Burma and later the snakes became snake ambassadors for hundreds of young people and adults, bringing the “Snakes Alive” program to 14 northern Michigan schools. In 1988, Kathy and Jim moved to Washington D.C. where Kathy served for 15 years as the head of Major Donor Fundraising at the Ocean Conservancy, a national organization for protecting sea turtles and whales. Returning to Cheboygan, she formed and led the Mackinaw Straits Raptor Watch (MSRW) for several years and organized the successful MSRW Raptor Fest, drawing hundreds of people from all over the mid-west. Most recently, Kathy was awarded the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council’s top award, the Clarence Krupa Lifetime Achievement Award for Environmental and nature Conservation.
She is survived by husband Jim, and brother-in-law John Bricker of Cheboygan and siblings Walter (Rosie, San Bruno, CA), Thomas (Susan, Index, WA), Raymond (Kathy, Jackson, TN), Jeannette (Monroe, WA), sister-in-law Becky (Roy Schaefer, Charlemont, MA) and numerous other family and friends. Her only children were Mario and Pivot Bricker, both deceased.
Kathy left nothing on the table, believing the glass was always half full and somehow things will work out for the best. Memorial gifts may go to the Little Traverse Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, or MSRW.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Inverness Township Hall on Dotski Rd. in Cheboygan on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 11am.