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A happy life was cut short; her friend is left to grieve

Anna Shoemaker

The portraits of Anna Shoemaker and her good friend Elizabeth Burns that emerge from the 2008 Hudson High School yearbook are of two smart, talented, well-liked girls - full of life and with bright futures.

A tragic car accident Wednesday morning, Jan. 12, has ended Shoemaker's life at the age of 20. Burns, also 20, survived the crash, but will likely have emotional scars from it that will take time to heal.

The two young women are standing one person apart in the yearbook photo of the Chamber Choir.

They were both members of the National Honor Society, too, and the Student to Student organization in which they befriended students with special needs.

There's a photo of Shoemaker frolicking in the snow with friends Kelsey Hansen, Adam Selon and Josh Kock-Fogarty while taking a break from the 2008 Snowball dance.

Shoemaker also was in the Math League and planned to be a pharmacist.

In the Star-Observer's 2008 Grad Tab, a special section featuring members of Hudson High's graduating class, Shoemaker named her mother, Peggy, as one of the most important adults in her life.

Peggy Shoemaker is the Hudson School District's associate director of learning services.

Shoemaker also identified high school vocal music teacher Kari Heisler also was one of three important adults in her life. The third she listed simply as "Mardy."

She said her interests were "singing, traveling, kayaking, Mishpack, hanging out with friends and riding (her) moped."

Mishpack is an annual summer service and hiking trip sponsored by NETworks Youth Ministry - the joint youth group of First Baptist, First Presbyterian, Mount Zion Lutheran and St. Paul's Episcopal churches.

Shoemaker's memorable events from high school were participating in the musicals "Guys and Dolls," "Crazy for You" and "Wizard of Oz."

She worked at Barker's Bar & Grill and Micklesen Drug during high school.

Her advice to underclassmen is poignant. "Don't take things too seriously. Enjoy the time you have with the people around you," she said.

The guestbook of a Caringbridge web page set up for Anna Rose Shoemaker was filled with tributes to her as of midday Friday.

"We consider ourselves blessed to have been able to share in some of the precious moments of Anna's life," Rico Heisler, husband of Kari Heisler, wrote. ""She was a delight and a treasure and the sweetness of her brief life will endure in the hearts of those who loved her!"

Susie Halverson and Scott Radunzel from Barker's said it was a joy to have worked with her.

"I share your grief and sense of loss at this terribly difficult time," Ken Wooley writes to Jim and Peggy Shoemaker and Anna's brother Andrew. "We were all shocked and saddened by the news."

Wooley is a NETworks Youth Ministry volunteer.

"Anna was such a light and inspiration to all those who knew her and were around her," he said. "...She had a significant positive impact on many other students. She greatly influenced their lives. Her spiritual impact and influence will be felt and remembered for a long time."