Please sign our Guestbook. We would love to hear your memories about Anne-Marie or share your experiences with a loved one’s diagnosis of CJD or just write what’s on your mind.


15 thoughts on “Guestbook”

  1. Barbara Campbell said:

    Anne-Marie had the most mirthful dark eyes, and when she giggled about something, it was just infectious!

    I first met her at Alexander School in the early l990’s where we were colleagues in teaching. Then when I first learned about the Wheel of the Year, and celebrating the ancient festivals of the solstices and the equinoxes, she gladly got involved with a small women’s circle that met for about 4 years in the mid l990’s. She had the unique ability to see many sides of an issue, and didnt feel limited by her more traditional religious background. She was an explorer of new ideas, and really enjoyed the circle dancing and creative workshops at the Women’s Retreat at Lumsden.

    She later became my principal at Bready School, and supported me through the illness and death of my husband Jack. She understood when I had to leave teaching, and move away to Val Marie. Her card said “Perhaps your Avalon lies south…”

    I treasure the card she later sent me from the Isle of Iona, a goddess site for the ancient Celts.

    To Anne-Marie:
    “The circle is open, yet unbroken ,
    The love of the goddess is ever in your heart.
    Merry meet, and merry part,
    And merry meet again.”

    Blessed be.

    your friend,
    Barb Campbell

  2. Amy Johnston said:

    I worked with Anne-Marie a decade ago at Bready School. I was saddened to hear of her illness and passing. My thoughts are with her, her family and friends at this time.

    I thought I would share with you something that happened yesterday. I work as a library tech in a school division library. Because I am primarily a cataloguer for new materials, I rarely need to enter the stacks to look for anything. But yesterday I had to search for a book in our collection. About four or five books down the shelf from the one I was seeking was…Jumbo Gumbo. It practically jumped off the shelf at me!

    A coincidence? Perhaps, but it’s one that makes a person take notice.

  3. Dave Knibbs said:

    amm was my teacher. There are those in our past that live on with us through what they have taught us. Their words resonate in our minds at the most unexpected times. Their insight into our lives isn’t truly realized until many years later. For me, amm is that kind of teacher.

    I know that there are many others like myself who have a profound respect for this wise, distinguished, and insightful woman.

    Kirsten, you must be so proud of your mother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Dave Knibbs

  4. Ralph Johnstone said:

    I was shocked to read of Anne-Marie`s passing in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Myself, Charlie and Anne-Marie taught in Weyburn during the late 60`s and we all shared many good times together. Later in life Anne-Marie shopped at my music store for goodies for Anthony. She was so proud of her kids and the promise they showed. Anne-Marie was always a delight to visit with and she had a wonderful smile.
    Condolences to Charlie and the kids.
    God bless.

  5. Jason Oliver said:

    I moved to North Battleford in 1988 as a ninth grader. With a father in the RCMP getting transfered every so many years is a very tough transition. Mrs. Merle was my Algebra teacher at Alexander Jr. High and her warmth and kindness to me will never be forgotten. She truly helped me during a very tough transition in my life. The quality of her character is flourishing brilliantly through her family. I am proud to have called Anthony my friend and I have very fond memories of golfing with Anth and Charlie (not to mention kicking some butt curling). Anytime after 18 holes or if just visiting Anth for a beer, guitar, or Monty Python there was a smile welcoming me at the back porch, fully prepared with conversation that left you with inexplicable feelings of welcome and best wishes. I’ve had many teachers/profs over my long education ‘career’ but none stand out like Mrs. Merle.
    After reading the post above, I recall it was Mrs. Merle that took me to HEL Music for the first time with Anth.
    This site is amazing and a perfect tribute to an equally amazing person.
    My thoughts and condolences to Anthony, Charlie, Kirsten and their entire family.
    Jason Oliver

  6. Kevin Drake said:

    I’m deeply sorry for your loss. Ann-Marie was a wonderful lady. Although I haven’t seen her in many years, I do have many fond memories of AM and her family. Anthony and I were best friends growing up in Saskatoon when we were kids. When-ever our families got together, played hockey and everything else we did, Ann-Marie always had a smile on her face and was enjoying the time spent together with our family.
    Charlie, Kirsten and Anthony and the rest of the Merle’s, I’m very saddened for the loss of Ann-Marie but, very grateful that I got to know her.

    Kevin Drake and family

  7. Lynne Thompson said:

    I first heard about Anne-Marie before I met her. I was one of the Advisors at NBCHS when Kirsten was involved in the SRC. We were participating in a team building exercise which had the students draw and label a house. They were to label the foundation of the house with the name of his/her most important person or hero. Most of the students gave whoever the most popular movie star or band member but not Kirsten, her hero and most important person was her mother. I knew that this must be a special person.

    I then met Anne-Marie when we did our Master’s classes together. Her strength was to sit back, listen to the conversation and then sum up in an insightful way the thoughts, concepts and learning from that discussion. I saw her do that many times in the course of her work as an administrator.

    After our coursework was done, Anne-Marie and I would often meet for brunch to discuss, analyze and laugh our way through life’s events. I am so sorry I never got one last brunch as I have so much to tell her!

    I take comfort in that she was happily married to Charlie, who would often make her giggle. She took great pride in her children and their accomplishments and was so pleased with who they chose as their partners. She was so proud to be a grandmother. Their family vacations and the time spent together was a great source of joy to her.

    Kirsten, I am sure if your mom drew a house, you, Anthony and Charlie would certainly be the foundation for her.

    My deepest sympathies, I already miss her!


  8. Cathy Mills said:

    I too have just learned that amm left us during this irregular spring. I worked with amm in various capacities. We did not see each other day by day but we were provincial colleagues who appreciated the opportunity to learn from one another whenever we had the opportunity to get together. She was the consummate educator. The idea that she wants others to learn of her disease is not surprising.

    Amm would be so pleased with this space on “the web”. It is like going to spend some time with her, in the sun, having a conversation about whatever was interesting during the time we were chatting together.

    Continue to write. She lives through your words. I am so sorry I will not get to connect with her again. I am also so sorry I did not take the time to tell her how important she was to me during our time together. “Note to self” we take far too much for granted.

  9. Mark Tillmanns said:

    Mrs. Merle was my Grade 9 home room teacher at Alexander JH in 1992/93. She was, and always will be my favorite teacher I ever had. Sorry to hear of her passing.


  10. Elyssa Speers said:

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mother, Kirsten, my deepest condolences to you and your family.

    For the strangest reason, I felt compelled to check out your website today. Of all the days, after a trivial agrument with my own Mom, I’m drawn to something that inevitably reminded me of how short life really is. I didn’t know your Mother, Kirsten, but by the way you have described and illustrated her, she was an amazing Woman. She has undoubtly given you her strength, courage, beauty, and to become a brilliant teacher. Thank you for educating us in so many different ways, Kirsten.

    God Be With You,


  11. Vernon Greyeyes said:

    After reading the comments above, I know that I can echo a lot of these same sentiments. I met Ann about nine years ago when I was a teacher/principal in North Battleford. She was always friendly, helpful and thoughtful to me. I knew this was a special lady and one that comes along once in a long while. Be proud of your mother and know that she was an inspiration to many. I was also shocked to read her story in the paper. So, I just wanted to send this message and let you know what a wonderful person your mother was.

  12. Chas, Anth, KK and loved ones:

    When I heard of amm’s passing, I cried for you all – and then I smiled, because I knew that her great enduring spirit had started its next journey. I’m glad you are keeping up with the updates, continuing to tell her story.

    I think of amm every day when I see that beautiful sunset picture on my living room wall. She’ll send us a gorgeous sunset like that again very soon, and when I see it, I’ll know that it is there because she is explaining to God, in most explicit detail, exactly how to paint the sky. Remember that you are always in our hearts, and we love you all.

    Tracey and Ed

  13. Brandi Gartner said:

    I am so sorry about your mom. Even though it is a difficult time for you, it must bring you comfort to know what a fantastic woman she was and how many lives she has touched. I will never forget how she stood by me when I was having trouble with a parent. I never heard another word from this parent after Anne-Marie came to my defense without even asking any questions. Anytime I needed her, she dropped whatever she was doing to help me out. I was so sad when she retired because she did so much for me and I knew the division was losing an invaluable employee. I also know how much she loved her kids. Anytime I asked her about you guys, her eyes lit up. She was very proud of both of you!! I will certainly be there at her celebration, sad that she isn’t with us anymore, because the world could use more people like her, but happy because I was lucky enough to have known her! Thank you for all of the updates,
    Brandi Gartner

  14. hi kristen,bad spelling &poor grammar something im lazy with because i always want 2 say things faster, then i dont loose my train of thought.i dont practice what i preached 2 my children both of whom amm taught ,she was my oldest favorite teacher,he 2 is gone probaly debating with amm right now.your dad & my david r golf buddies & digger casino empolyees together along with myself.
    i wanted to send a thought 2 u .i had brie chez in puff pastry with a crisp white wine one night while visiting with your mom and dad some time ago,& the night before her passing i had a strong urge for brie & puff pastry so i indulged myself and thought of her.the other day because we r moving i was going through yard oranaments wondering what homes they would like 2 go 2. not knowing about any of the butterfly stories i came across my three butterflies on the garage, now i know where i think they should live if you’ll have 2 represent each of my children amm shared some of her life with&one 2 represent her,for the butterfly in yoga means enlightened soul.
    i commend u on a fabulous idea and from this site when i walk in the winter & hear the snow crunch i’ll think of winter my troubled time of year ,in a new light ,threw amm.

  15. Kelley Clarke said:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom. She will be sadly by all her knew her. Cherish your memories of her and she will always be with you. I think of her often as does my family.

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