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Anne Blake

Anne Kershisnik Blake

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Obituary

Anne Ruth Kershisnik Blake, Annie, was born August 31, 1984 in Provo, UT, in the same hospital as her mother. Anne is the eldest of five children born to Paul and Virginia Lambert Kershisnik. As a family we led a comparatively nomadic life, moving many times domestically and internationally during Annie’s growing up years.

After Provo, where she learned to smile, walk and eat a wide variety of foods (but going to bed peacefully was just not in the cards), Annie moved to Plymouth, Minnesota, where her sister Maria was born. In Minnesota, and during these early years, Annie loved to be pushed in her stroller at as high a speed as an adult could produce. Parking lots were her preferred racetrack. Her favorite perch was on your shoulders. In an instant she could be brought to tears if her dad and uncle Brian sang in operatic voices.

When Annie was four we moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Ian was born. In Wichita Annie went to Kindergarten and first grade. She became an ace hulahooper, loved to swim, and played endlessly.

At seven we moved east to Herndon, Virginia, where Jake was born. Annie loved the area, with all its history and museums. She was in a Japanese immersion program at school where she attended 2nd-3rd grades. Annie began piano lessons and was in Brownies.

At ten, we moved to Leawood, Kansas and lived a short distance from the Missouri state line. Ellen was born in Missouri. In Kansas Annie joined her first swim team, the Leawood Lightening. She did very well in school, excelled in the geography bee, P.E., ballet and was even a 5th grade cheerleader. She loved to make things from Sculpey, participated in Jump Rope for Heart, tumbling and piano. She was in Leawood during 4th-7th grades.

At thirteen we ventured across the Atlantic to London, England. We lived in the neighborhood of Swiss Cottage. In our two, short years in London she made lifelong friends, went to York, the Lake District, Wales, Sweden, Holland, France, Spain and Greece. She attended the American School in London, in St. John’s Wood, for 8th and 9th grades. Annie swam for the school and sang in the choir. She absolutely loved living overseas.

At fourteen we moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca. Here, too, she made lasting friendships and lasting impressions. She attended EARJ, the American school in Rio, during 10th grade.

At fifteen we moved back to Leawood, Kansas, where Annie managed the high school track teams (men and women) and women’s basketball team. She also sang in the choir, all at Shawnee Mission East High School, where she graduated in 2002. Annie approached friendship with such an enthusiastic determination. People could always be added to her circle. Weekends found her with as many friends gathered and included as possible.

From there Annie went to BYU, studying English Language and editing. The rest of us kept moving, but that’s another story. She met Simon Blake at school and the two were married in 2006. Maren was born in 2008 and Ezra followed in 2011. Initially, Annie became an artist of textiles but eventually found her true passion in painting and the prose which accompanied the work. She was a gifted painter and writer. But she was also driven by advocacy, by helping a person or group in need. Annie’s boundless compassion and genuine love for people found a very compelling and thought-provoking voice in social justice. Together, with Simon, Maren and Ezra, they made a wonderful, beautiful and fulfilling life.

In September 2020, after some months of discomfort and an inability of doctors to pinpoint any particular cause, Annie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The three very short months between that fateful diagnosis and her passing on December 16, 2020, personified everything we treasure about Annie. The months were full of including, talking, spending time together, comforting, serving each other, being brave, remembering, and loving.

Of course, there is so much more to Annie than where she lived and the things she did growing up. But the places were important because where we lived defined the people who surrounded her; and for Annie people were everything. She was as good a friend as you could find because I think she truly believed that genuine friendship was something everyone needed and deserved.

By any measure, Annie’s life was far too short. By any measure, her life was well lived and a profound blessing. By any measure, our missing her will be intolerable. By any measure, our good fortune to be her friend is without any measure.
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Service Details

  • Private Family Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 24th, 2021 |
    When
    Saturday, April 24th, 2021
    Location
    Walker Sanderson Funeral Home
    Address
    646 East 800 North
    Orem, UT 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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