Anna Elizabeth Heppler, 36, Minot, and formerly of Brookings, S.D., died Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in a Minot hospital.
Anna was born Jan. 13, 1977, in Atlantic City, N.J., to Frank and Bonnie (Laigaie) Marinelli. She was raised there and in Brookings, where she graduated from high school. She continued her education at South Dakota State University where she received her undergraduate degree in criminology. She received her master's degree and doctorate from Colorado Technical University and was working toward her PhD at Capella University.
Anna married Jason Heppler on Dec. 22, 2003, in Brookings. She remained in Brookings for a short time before she joined Jason in Newport News, Va., in February 2004 while he was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The family moved to Minot in 2006. Anna was employed by Trinity Hospital as a behavioral health therapist and at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch as a residential treatment advisor for Butt Cottage. She was diagnosed with leukemia on April 5, 2012.
Anna had received many awards while in college and was a member of several different organizations. She had a big heart and would help family, friends and community members with anything and would even give the shirt off her back if it would keep a homeless person warm. Anna's strong faith has blessed her family and friends, serving as the foundation of her entire life.
Anna's loving family includes: her husband of nine years, Jason; children, Alexis and Vencenza "Venna" Heppler; mother, Bonnie Bedient, of Brookings; father, Randy Snedeker, Two Rivers, Wis.; sisters, Gloria (Josh) Brandner, Pierre, S.D., and Caramia (Alexander) Pacioto, Alameda, Calif.; brothers, Frankie Marinelli, Lahaina, Hawaii, and Dominic Marinelli, Atlantic City; nieces and nephews, Michael and Molly Howard and Jaden and Kyra Hintz; mother-in-law, Diane Hintz, Brookings; father-in-law, Glenn (Audrey) Heppler, Brookings; brothers-in-law, Grant Hintz, Brookings, Eric Hintz, of Houston, Cody Heppler, Minot, and Doug Howard, Brandon, S.D.; sister-in-law, Jennifer (Rich) Hintz, Sioux Falls, S.D.; aunt, Debby (David) Soltz, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Anna was preceded in death by: her father, Frank Marinelli; infant brother, Jay Evans; sister, Beth Snedeker; father-in-law, David Hintz; and grandparents, Fred and Anna Fagerlund and Gloria and Frank Marinelli.
Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. in St. Leo's Catholic Church, Minot.
Friends may sign a guest register today, Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).