White Blossoms

Susan Staves Djokovic

July 3, 1942 ~ March 21, 2022 (age 79)



‘‘Broadway Sue’s Final Curtain Call’’

Wife of Dr. Jovan Djokovic, M.D.  Mother of Wendy Staves (Valentina, Charlie), Michael (Tasa) Stavropoulos (Niko, Mia, Teddy (Liz)).  Dear Sister of David Evan and Marabeth Foreman and Patricia Lambert.  Treasured cousin of Linda Eklund.

Predeceased by her parents Katharine and David, sister Sally, nephew Steve, niece Jennifer, and two beloved canines:  Meffy the timid and Pancho the pug puppy.

Stepmother of Jackie (Steve) Lee (Steven, Jenna, Kristopher, Angel, Daniel, Anna), Jovi (Abbie) Djokovic (Ljubo), Nicole Djokovic (Chays, Elyce) and Jason Jensen.  Loving aunt of Christopher (Shannon) Hembree, Jennifer (Jeremy) Delozier, Birkleigh (Chris) Walters, David Worth (Renee) Foreman, Molly (Tim) Epperly, Sarah (Josh) Spann, Megan (Matt) Berta, Reeve (Ashly) Foreman, Emily (Justin) Scaggs.  Loving Godmother of Chloe Daley.

Sue was terrifically glamorous, gave us many encore performances, and a lifetime of laughter.

Susan Jeanne was a direct descendant of two controversial warriors; Sir William Wallace (Braveheart), and Edward I - one of England’s most formidable and effective kings.

Sue was the DNA recipient of exotic physical beauty, the great gift of storytelling, amazing vocal talent, quick wit, hilarious sense of humor, clever sarcasm and culinary prowess. Cooking was her love language.  Susan's Christian faith was strong and personal. She never held back her opinion - and believe me - she would tell you like it is.

The first born child of four children, Susan spent summers at her grandparents lake cabin in northern Michigan.  In high school, Susan played the lead role in Inspector General alongside actor, comedian and director Howard Morris (Your Show of Shows, Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke).  At Howard’s suggestion and with suitcase in hand - Susan departed Michigan for Manhattan, chasing a dream.  She worked at St. Luke’s Hospital which made it possible for her to audition for roles on Broadway.

While living on Riverside Drive she locked eyes with the Chief Resident of Surgery at Harlem Hospital, Dr. Nicholas Staves, M.D.  Until recently we were not aware that Nick and Sue were secretly married in October, and again with God’s blessing at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in her hometown of Flint, MI.  Nick and Sue were required to return to his hometown of Drama, Greece for 2+ years while they waited for Nick’s LEGAL (important to add that) US Citizenship.  It was her time in Greece where she perfected her ear for Greek language and learned to create its epicurean delights.  They returned to the US two months before Wendy was born.

Sue made Brookfield her home for over 50 years.  She and Nick built a vacation home on the shores of Lake Michigan in Door County.  She bought a Chevy Blazer for the trips up to meet their builder, while listening to her Doobie Brothers ‘’traveling songs’’ on the 8 track player.

She spent summers poolside and socializing at the Western Racquet Club.  She loved shopping at Marshall Field’s.  She was a proud graduate of Mount Mary University.

Sue had a second chance at love when she married Jovan.  Together they shared a love of family and travel.  Of Susan and Jovan’s 14 shared grandchildren - 6 are adopted, representing 7 different ethnic backgrounds, from 4 continents. Two additional adoptions are currently in process.

They conjoined their children effortlessly, traveled well and extensively.  Scotland, Thailand, Hong Kong, England, Greece, Yugoslavia, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, St. Croix, St. John, Saint Maartin, Grand Cayman and on private sailboats.  

She was obsessed with Hollywood and the world has certainly lost a great resource of its vast trivia.

In her sunset years Sue was a ‘‘volunteer’’ at Vesta Memory Care where she was an exemplary case manager.  Special thanks to Jayne Ziehm and her staff including Larithe and Candy - where Sue received exceptional care.  

In 2021 Susan received the gift of a loving hospice nurse by the name of Liz Hansen, and the two forged a close bond. Liz referred to Sue as ‘’a patient unlike any she has seen - feisty and perseverant’’.  

Let’s not forget to mention that in 2021 Sue survived serious bleeding complications from ‘the jab’ referred to by some as ‘’a vaccine’’  When the hospital tried to tell her it was not a reaction, but rather acquired hemophilia she responded ‘’What am I Russian Royalty?  From now on please refer to me as Countess Anastasia’’.

Small things you can do in memory of Sue and in lieu of flowers:  

-Embellish your stories to be a lot funnier.  
-At Christmastime while shopping for others, deploy the strategy ‘‘One gift for you, one gift for me’’ and watch as the gifts continue to amass.  
-Buy yourself a glamorous piece of gold jewelry.
-Take a long hot bubble bath.  
-Have a chocolate malt or turtle sundae from Kopps.  
-Have lobster pot pie at Harbor House.  Enjoy a lobster tail or escargot.  
-If you are of legal age, a Kir Royale or shot of cognac is encouraged in moderation  
-Watch the Sound of Music or Downton Abbey
-If a turkey (or six) land on your house, get yourself a blow horn and a fake coyote statue from Elliott’s Ace Hardware. 

Last but not least . . . SING.  Sing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long.  Don’t worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing.  

The Doobie Brothers, Paul Simon, Pavarotti, Carpenters, Neil Diamond were also Sue’s favorites.

And remember, if you are going to be able to look back at something and laugh about it, you may as well laugh about it now.

Visitation will be held Friday, April 1st from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Becker Ritter Funeral Home in Brookfield.  Church services will be held Saturday, April 2nd at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Waukesha.

Donations in Sue’s name to Gift of Adoption, Shriners Children's Hospital or Crossover Downtown Outreach Ministry are welcomed.


Now the day is over,

Night is drawing nigh;

Shadows of the evening

Steal across the sky.


Jesus, give the weary

Calm and sweet repose;

With Thy tend’rest blessing

May Mine eyelids close




April 1, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Becker Ritter Funeral Home
14075 W. North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005

Sharing of Memories
April 1, 2022

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Becker Ritter Funeral Home
14075 W. North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005

Funeral Service
April 2, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Matthias Episcopal Church
111 E. Main Street
Waukesha, WI 53186

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