Love Like Anna


Pink flowers were used to honor senior Anna Schmidt at her wake on Monday, April 17.

Maggie Terry, Staff writer

The color pink floods and brightens the room full of sadness: flowers, clothes, ribbons and pictures. Pink is everywhere.

Loved ones mourned the loss of 18-year-old senior Anna Schmidt, who passed away in her sleep on the morning of April 12, the reason of death unknown. 

Hundreds of people went to Schmidt’s visitation Monday night to pay their respects to the family and say their goodbyes. Visitors dressed in any pink clothing they owned because it was Schmidt’s favorite color. Ribbons and glow necklaces were also given out for people who didn’t wear pink. 

The visitation was held at St. Boniface Church from 4-8 p.m. Pictures were set out in the front of the church, highlighting all aspects of Schmidt’s 18 years. There were pictures of her hugging her friends, with her family and a picture of her dressed as an Easter bunny. 

As people approached her casket, Anna’s dad, Eric Schmidt, whose hair and beard were dyed pink, stood waiting. His white button-down shirts was smeared with mascara and lipstick as he hugged everyone who went through the waiting line. As he gave hugs, he shared stories about how much Anna loved everyone and how much she knew that you loved her. 

Her sister Alissa Rodgers sat in the front pew with her hair dyed pink as well. 

Flowers with pink accents were placed down the line of people waiting. The rest of her family watched as visitors said their last goodbyes. 

The funeral service took place on Tuesday morning at 10:30. Her casket was dressed in a white cloth. The Rev. Jeffery Goeckner led the service, telling stories about Schmidt as a kid going to church.

The one phrase that was repeated during the service was how Schmidt was a “light that could brighten the entire room.” As stories were shared about her, the crowd laughed, remembering Schmidt’s lively personality and humor. 

A room full of pink, the sounds of laughter, the sounds of crying, all as people reminisced about their different experiences of Schmidt. 

Goeckner used the candle that was lit when Schmidt was baptized to light the candle that represented her death. He spoke about how Schmidt should have been dressed in white to walk down the aisle to meet her future husband, but instead was going down the aisle in white for her funeral.

Schmidt’s casket was carried down the aisle and out of the service, as the family followed behind. People met outside of the doors to give hugs before leaving.

A few hours later, loved ones met again for a completely different memorial. 

To celebrate Schmidt’s life and everything that she would never have the chance to celebrate, the family held a celebration of life at the Schmidts’ home. A party bus shuttled people to the party, which was a tent full of all things pink. A DJ played music as people danced with their friends. 

The dress Schmidt was supposed to wear to prom, her cap and gown and her Pride Cheer uniform sat on mannequins at the front of the party. On a table next to the mannequins sat her acceptance letter to SLU college for criminal justice, along with her high school diploma.

As hundreds of people came and went, the celebration seemed never ending. People left the party with smiles on their faces, in remembrance of Anna’s bright spirit.

The family started a scholarship foundation on Monday called “Love Like Anna” to assist with secondary education. This foundation was started because of Schmidt’s love of to helping kids in need.

Many people have helped to get this donation to its $8,000 goal. One person included in this is senior Zoe Byron, Schmidt’s second cousin.

For Bryon’s CEO class, she decided to sell phone cases. Bryon released five new pink cases, with different designs that have something relating to Schmidt. Bryon is giving away 50% of her earnings to the scholarship fund. Byron has currently raised over $700 for the cause.

The fund is currently at $4,676. 

Schmidt’s body will be turned into coral reef due to her wishes.