Memorial Service Speech - Suzy
My name is Suzy Scherb. Ann was my best friend at Wayland Academy, the boarding school we both attended in Wisconsin. As a new student senior girls had the time nor desire to befriend me. Not Ann. As soon as Ann learned that I was a midwestern girl and I loved to ski - our friendship blossomed. As I look back now - I realize I was not only the luckiest girl at Wayland, but about to embark on a 13-year friendship.
Some of my favorite memories of Ann in high school took place off campus and on the ski slopes. As I am sure it comes as not surprise - Ann was the #1 skier on the girls Varsity ski team. Not only was Ann our teams #1 skier – but she usually finished 1st or 2nd at our ski meets. I never got tired of watching Ann race around the slalom gates. Ann always did it with such ease and grace. It was Annie’s individual scores that our team needed to help us qualify for the memorable state competition. Though our ski races were exhilarating - my favorite times with Annie were spent eating our sack lunches and talking on the long bus rides to and from practice, or Ann’s contagious and memorable laugh that always erupted during the exhausting dry land work outs. Our love for skiing eventually took us on a memorable spring break trop to Vail - a place, for years to come, Annie would spend with her Dad.
At Wayland, besides a close few friends, Ann was always more interested in forging relationships with the faculty. Wayland mandated that students follow a rigorous routine in order to teach students responsibility and prepare them for college and life that lay ahead. As part of that routine, dorm mothers would perform room checks every morning. If so much as a sock were on the floor - you would be placed on the “dormed” list. Ironically, Ann never appeared on that list… and I assure you, there was a lot more than a sock on her floor. I won’t begin to tell you the stories on how well Ann obeyed the dress code rules… In all seriousness, it wasn’t luck that kept Ann off those lists. That fact is the teachers knew Ann already possessed the responsibility and maturity that they worked so hard to teach. Even as a teenager, Annie was wiser beyond her years.
Be it luck or fate – Annie and I spent our college years in the same town of Northfield, Minnesota. Ann was at Carleton and I at St. Olaf. I took great comfort knowing Annie was always a short walk or a phone call away to meet for a beer during those important years.
I want to wrap up my thoughts with a recent humorous memory of Annie. My husband Jeb and I were fortunate enough to live a few blocks from Annie in Chicago. Often times Annie and I would take our dogs, Newman and Nellie, to a nearby park. For those who don’t know Newman - he is 130 pounds of love! This day was a particularly hot day in Chicago. When we arrived at the park and took off the dog’s leashes – Newman headed straight for a huge mud puddle. At this point most dog owners would yell at their dog to get out of the puddle! Not Annie. Annie sat there laughing hysterically while watching Newman roll and play in the mud. After dragging Newman out of the puddle, Annie invited me back to her apartment to show off her latest project - her plants. Before entering her apartment she said, “Now Suzy, I have to warn you that my place is REALLY messy.” I responded, “Oh Annie, I am sure it’s fine.” When I walked in - I quickly realized Ann wasn’t kidding. It was clear that Newman’s love for mud puddles had become a part of Ann’s daily life. Of course – all Ann did was laugh at the mess! Annie, I will miss you.
Thank you for your unconditional friendship.
Thank you for the laughter.
Thank you for letting me be your close friend.
Thank you for a lifetime of memories.
Annie, I will miss you.