Although Anna Sauer was never an actual employee for the Colorado Visitor’s Bureau, she could have and should have been. Anyone she ever met who did not call Colorado home was quickly inundated with the excited exuberance of a child at Christmas as Anna described her adopted state she had called home for over 45 years.
The tourism industry and the lives of so very many have forever been altered with the passing of Anna Bryson Sauer on June26th after a hard fought and inspiring bout with cancer. She did not lose to cancer but rather left early to do great things in other places.
Born in Sylva, North Carolina, Anna spent her childhood years in Rutherfordton, North Carolina learning more about sports than most boys and dressing far nicer than most girls. Carroll Bryson, her father and local celebrity (think Andy Griffith) and a Tom’s distributor, taught Anna the beauty of baseball, golf and the competitive genius of sports in general. Her love for sports would become legendary through her life as she set up multiple televisions to watch all the games long before cable, she invented the “couch wave” and she scared away neighborhood children and animals with her vocal celebrations cheering her NC State, Auburn or any Colorado team. In fact you may recall the earthquake conditions of 1983 that Anna created when celebrating the North Carolina State Wolfpack win over the Houston “Five-Slamma-Jamma”. It was a moment remembered fondly by her family, who will never forget the look on her face. Her mother, Mabel Bryson, was an elementary school teacher who gifted Anna with a love for the finer things in life such as clothing, manners and cooking. Well, not so much cooking as Anna was known to burn Jell-O and bake cakes dependent on toothpicks and strategically placed frosting to keep them upright. Anna excelled in school, playing clarinet in the band, engaging in school government, and playing softball and basketball.
Moving to Colorado in 1974, Anna never forgot her home state of North Carolina or her southern upbringing. In her own unique way Anna became a true Coloradan while still pronouncing “boil” like “bole”, “you all” like “y’all” and adding about 2 cups of sugar to her pitchers of tea. She also brought the southern charm, making numerous and lifelong friends wherever she went, becoming a surrogate mother to many and a founding member of the infamous Champion Greens “Party Girls” planning committee. While her career outside of the home varied from sales, to management, to real estate, Anna’s true calling was that of a mother and grandmother…or as she was called, Nana. Any child who has walked in to her home remembers her drawer of toys. A child at heart, Anna kept toys at her home and if the children wouldn’t visit her then she would take gifts to them. Her grandchildren were roughly 10 years old before understanding that receiving gifts wrapped in tissue paper every single day was not a normal thing. Never was her inner child on greater display than during Christmas. Anna’s home was decorated in every possible way, including singing toilet paper holders and the most incredible village you have ever seen in a residential home. People from miles away would come every year to see the village and bring their kids. The village was complete with a Tom’s truck and football stadium was a sketch of Anna’s life covered in snow and glowing in Christmas lights.
Diagnosed with cancer in April of 2017, Anna continued her positive attitude and fierce strength, amazing her doctors with her personality and her courage. Everyone loved Anna as she continued to leave her mark and impress all that she met, even as they drew her blood or prescribed her pills. With her sense of humor and fierceness of self, Anna fought a good fight, finally giving in, but only with the determination that she had so much to do somewhere else.
Anna is survived by her devoted husband Tim Sauer of Longmont, Colorado, her children Amy Helmick (Rick), Andy Triplett (Dhiannon), Lorrie Reynolds, and Kay Sauer, her father Carroll Bryson, brother Gene Bryson (Judy) and the reason she was put on earth, her grandchildren, Nathan and Megan Helmick, Bryse (Susie), and Kirah Taylor, her great-grand-son, Kaiden, and her bottom wagging Corgi, Poppy. She was preceded in death by her mother Mabel Bryson.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 7th from 2-4:00 pm at the Gondolier Restaurant in Longmont. Please come prepared to laugh because she was a funny lady who led an amazing life and wanted a happy remembrance with all the people she loved.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to https://giving.cu.edu/fund/gi-cancer-research indicating that it is in honor of Anna Sauer. Or you can send a check made payable to “University of Colorado Foundation” or “CU Foundation” with “GI Cancer Research Fund 0222163” and Anna’s name in the memo line. They can be mailed to:
Office of Advancement
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
13001 East 17th Place, MS A065
Aurora, Colorado 80045
All of the above will make sure that your donation goes to Anna’s medical team, headed by Dr. Christopher Lieu, an amazing doctor and friend who brought great comfort to Anna.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
13001 East 17th Place, MS A065, Aurora CO 80045