Anne Walsh, 48, Mankato

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anne E. Walsh, 48, of Mankato, died July 9, 2012, at her home.


A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Mankato Mortuary and will continue one hour prior to service at the church. Burial will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, 4604 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407,, 612-822-0500. Casual attire is preferred at the visitation and service.

Following is the obituary that Anne wrote herself:

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I have been called to heaven. I fought the good fight until it was time to go. I did not lose my ovarian cancer journey, I lived through it. And even if that journey is over, my heavenly journey is only beginning.

I was born Jan. 29, 1964, and raised in the Twin Cities in a diverse environment and was much better for it. My parents, Nan and Mike Gjerdahl, raised good children. I always felt their love and will take that love with me. It is a powerful bond. I love you more.

I attended St. Paul Central High School. Believe it or not, I was voted the “Most Athletic Girl” in the school. I was an accomplished sprinter, setting city and state records. I graduated in 1982 and immediately went into the U.S. Army as a military police officer, serving in Germany. I enjoyed traveling throughout Europe. I also played on the All-Army Europe Volleyball Team, traveling all over. Tough duty! I was honorably discharged and began a four-year term in the U.S. Army Reserves. I retired as a staff sergeant after many insights and experiences.

Out of the Army, I completed a law enforcement degree from AVTI in Alexandria, minoring in fishing.

I was a Mankato police officer for 19 years. During my career, I held the positions of patrol officer, detective, patrol commander, drug task force coordinator and retired as a patrol commander. The decision to retire was difficult, but the job changed me and I had to go. I still miss co-workers and always will. It’s an honorable job, and I hope I am remembered for being honorable doing it.

My soul mate Pam Soper and I have been in love for 19 years. We have loved, laughed, struggled and cried together. We have lived as completely as we could. We even got “married!” (Please vote “No.”) Pam put joy in my life and was the reason I got up in the morning… OK afternoon. She is compassionate and took care of me better than anyone could. I didn’t want to leave, Pam, but please know that I am with you always — except when you’re in the bathroom. I love you.

To our family of friends, we are blessed to have so many of you that love us even with all of our flaws — whew!  You love us as we love you and will always love you.

It’s so hard to leave my family. I will miss you all. I expect the Bush bashes and corn hole tournaments to continue. It’s important to stay in touch as a family. I will miss my mom and dad, my siblings: Bill, Kaff, Lisa, Jon, Sandy, Eva, Mickey, Mike Jr., Dutch, Steve and Paul. I will also miss Pam’s mom and dad, Barb and Darrell Soper. I leave behind so many in-laws, nieces, nephews and greats who I love dearly.

I look forward to those waiting at the gate: my father Julian; my grandparents; brother Steve; sister Beth; and I get to meet my Grandma Wandrey for the first time. Willie and Quincy will come running with the dreaded tennis ball. I can’t wait to see who else shows up. And I get to meet Jesus — again.

Thanks for the ride folks. I love you all.