Anabelle "Annie" VanBrocklin

November 14, 1961 - June 27, 2024

Obituary for Anabelle "Annie" VanBrocklin

Beloved wife, mother and friend, Annie VanBrocklin, age 62, of Maple Grove passed away peacefully while surrounded by her loving family on 6/27/24.

Annie was born on November 14, 1961 to her parents Agapito and Maura and was the baby of the family, the youngest of their seven children. Affectionately, Annie (Anabelle) was called “belle” by her older siblings and was doted on to the point of really being quite spoiled, especially by her older brothers Chris and Ramonito. Annie was especially close with her sister Flordeliza, who acted as a second mother after the tragic, early, passing of their mother Maura.

Living a rural life on the farm made for a tranquil childhood surrounded by the lush tropical landscape, and the many crops that Agapito would cultivate thanks to his green thumb that Annie would later inherit. As a kid, Annie was a dreamer who knew she was destined for something different. She would always point upwards at passing airplanes and proudly declare to her dad that she would be on one of those airplanes someday and she would go to America, which would cause Agapito to just shake his head and laugh.

Annie graduated high school from San Blas Academy and then attended the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and graduated with a degree in Psychology. Annie later worked for many years as a civilian contractor in Human Resources for the Filipino Military. Through her early success Annie always doted on her dad who she was very close with.

Annie met her first husband Steve Thornberg and was married in a ceremony in the Philippines. After the marriage Annie bravely uprooted her life and left her beloved family in the Philippines in order to start a new life in America (as she originally promised all those years ago)! Annie and Steve had one daughter, Heather, and resided in Mound, Minnesota in those early days. Unfortunately, over the years, Steve and Annie grew apart. Though their marriage came to an end, they always maintained an amicable relationship.

Through work, Annie met her second husband and love of her life, Mike VanBrocklin. The two sweethearts later married in 2000 and Mike became a second father to Heather and a wonderful husband to Annie. They had a beautiful marriage and had many cherished family gatherings at their home, and family vacations road-tripping across the country, fishing trips, and tropical beach vacations. Most recently, Mike devoted himself to Annie’s health and made sure she made it to all appointments, made sure she did her therapies and most importantly provided all the love and companionship she undoubtedly deserved each year of their marriage but most markedly the last as Annie’s health slipped away.

Also through work, Annie established dozens of beautiful friendships, especially with the Madlon-Kay family who Annie nannied for many years. The two boys, Aaron and Seth, Annie loved like her own sons and they became like brothers to her daughter, Heather.

At Snuffy’s Malt Shop, Annie loved her regular customers and coworkers after working there for nearly 30 years. After all that time Annie became a well known face in the local communities having worked at the Roseville, Minnetonka, Edina and Bloomington locations.

Outside of work Annie loved to cook, especially her famous (and always in demand) eggrolls. She also loved cooking authentic Filipino food, or anything healthy, especially if there were veggies “fresh from the garden”! Annie loved to stay active and would run marathons and rollerblade in her younger years. As she grew older, Annie’s happy place was always in the garden. She was an avid gardener, and always expanded her flower and vegetable gardens to every spare inch of the lawn and even sometimes their neighbor Dave’s (the baby plants needed somewhere to live of course). She clearly inherited her dad’s green thumb as her gardens were well known for their beauty and leave a lasting legacy at the family home in Maple Grove.

Unfortunately, Annie’s life was never an easy one. After being diagnosed with kidney disease and later kidney failure, Annie received a kidney transplant in 2000. Much of Annie’s life revolved around her health condition and the related issues that would crop up that never kept her far from the clinic and her expert medical teams. Most recently, Annie struggled with a chronic lung condition that resulted from her being an immunocompromised transplant recipient. Sadly, this latest disease kept Annie mostly homebound the last year of her life and away from her favorite things like her beloved gardens. Even in the face of so much adversity, Annie was always resilient and grateful for what she had, always commenting that “oh well, so many people have it worse.. I am grateful for my little house, food on the table, health and family” when she would feel down.

Despite all the challenges life threw at Annie, she always maintained her positive, generous spirit and would always help a family member or friend in need. Even if the need came at her own expense, Annie would always come through and give without hesitation. She really embodied the “give you the shirt off her back” attitude.

Annie will be missed endlessly by her loving family and will be remembered for her bravery, resilience, devotion to family, generous spirit, and energetic, magnetic presence.

Annie is preceded in death by her parents, Agapito and Maura, brothers Ismael and Ramonito, sister, Milagros, and first husband Steve.

Annie is survived by her daughter Heather (Zachary), husband Mike, sisters Flordeliza and Delilah, and brother Chris. Annie is also survived by many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and cherished family friends.

The Memorial Service will be at 11:30 AM Friday, 7/12/2024, at the American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Mpls, MN 55407 with gathering time at 11:15am. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served after the service.

Memorial Service

Friday, July 12th

American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave
Minneapolis, MN

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It is a place of compassion, sincerity, professionalism, and staff who go above and beyond their call of duty. Our family has sadly used both chapels over the past months. The caring did not stop after the services. They offer their continued compassion to adults and children. With grateful hearts thank you.

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