Anne Marie Monroe Sisk, age 54, passed away on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, after a courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. In keeping with her wishes, she died at home surrounded by family and friends. Anne's family would like to express their gratitude to Judie Benwick, ALS care coordinator whose help, advice and information was invaluable. We would also like to thank the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. who helped us combat this disease and Emerald Coast Hospice for their support and care during her illness.
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Anne was born in Kittery, Maine on Sept. 17, 1959. Being raised in a U.S. Navy family, Anne lived in Scotland, Virginia and Texas before settling into Villa Tasso, Fla. She graduated from Niceville High in 1977, and received a Bachelors of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University in 1981. Anne Sisk retired from the Okaloosa County School District after being employed as a teacher for 30 years. Anne taught at her beloved Edge Elementary, the same school where her grandmother, Mrs. Angie Monroe, taught many years before. Anne is fondly remembered by former students, parents and co-workers. Celebrations were made more special with her oatmeal-butterscotch cookies. Christmas was always her time to make homemade caramel popcorn for everybody. Anne was a member of Bluewater Community Church where she used to teach Sunday school and volunteer at Vacation Bible School.
One of Anne's earliest memories was sitting in her grandmother's lap and watching the 1969, Moon landing. This sparked her life-long interest in science and space exploration. She was able to attend the launch of the space shuttle Discovery in 1988, and the final launch and voyage of the Discovery in 2011. This was a memorable trip she shared with her husband, Rick, as they camped and kayaked in the natural habitats along Florida's Space Coast. Anne loved her walks on the bay, on the beach and on Turkey Creek. She also loved her walks with their labs, Sid and Ruby, and sadly had to give this up as her disease progressed. Anne was willing to be a part of a study to better understand ALS. Though she never imagined she would benefit from the findings, she was willing to bear the burden of being a part of this study to help others.
She is survived by husband of 17 years, Richard Sisk, who faithfully cared for her at home over the last two years; as well as, her parents, Ira and Azilee Monroe of Villa Tasso; her sister, Alice (John) Davis of Atlanta, Ga.; and her brother, James (Jeanette) Monroe, of St. Louis, Mo. Anne was an exceptional aunt to Azilee Davis of N.Y. and Ian Davis of Atlanta, Ga. Anne was also close to Rick's parents, Edna and Paul Sisk and nieces Kayla Williams, Courtney Mills and Kelsey Sisk and many more. She was special to many children, some of whom have been blessed with her name, "Anne." We want to thank all her numerous aunts and uncles and cousins for their love and support before and especially after her diagnosis. The outpouring of love you have shared with us makes it hard to list you all individually. We would like to give Aunt Dove special thanks for allowing us to use you as our medical resource.
We would like to thanks all of Anne's numerous friends that had helped support and prayed for Anne. Thanks for all of the cards, letters and phone calls of concern and thoughts.
Gifted and generous, Anne Sisk, will be remembered as a "teacher to the teachers and a caregiver to the caregivers."
A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Valparaiso, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Anne's family suggests donations to the Florida ALS Association to continue their important research. An account has been established at People's National Bank in Niceville to receive donations in memory of Anne Sisk; or, they may be completed on-line through the registry at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com or the ALS website at www.webfl.alsa.org.
Heritage Gardens Funeral Home & Cemetery
2201 N Partin Dr Niceville, FL 32578
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from July 29 to Aug. 1, 2014