Anne Thieu Yen (meaning "little swallow") Krapu was born on January 9, 1987 at St. Luke's Hospital in Fargo North Dakota and died in Ithaca, New York on January 21, 2018 She is survived by her parents, Gary Krapu and Madeline Luke, Valley City, ND; 3 siblings Jeff Krapu and Amy Dockter, Fargo, ND, and Christopher Krapu, Durham, North Carolina; two grandparents DeLoris Krapu, Valley City, ND and Anna Luke of Lincoln, RI; and 3 nephews and 2 nieces. Anne spent her early life in Valley City where she attended grade school at Jefferson Elementary and attended Shanley High School in Fargo, ND, graduating in 2005. She excelled at debate and speech in the categories of impromptu and extemporaneous speaking and Lincoln Douglas debate, winning numerous awards including a state championship and she represented North Dakota multiple times in the National Forensics League tournament. She received the prestigious US Senate Youth Program Scholarship and the Laura Christianson Espejo Social Justice Award in 2004. She was particularly proud of her cheerleading trophy from Shanley. At Shanley, she founded the first chapter of Amnesty International in North Dakota. After high school she attended Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island where she received her BA in political science with an emphasis on global security and international relations. In addition to her time at Brown, she studied at the London School of Economics summer program in Trade, Development and Environment and studied Spanish in Salamanca, Spain. During a semester at University of Alaska at Fairbanks, she took part in a winter survival course and tried cross country skiing for the first time.
Anne first became involved in North Dakota politics at age 15, serving as volunteer, then campaign manager or finance director for Joe Satrom' s run for governor in 2004, Tracy Potter's 2010 gubernatorial campaign and Brad Crabtree's campaign for Public Service Commissioner in 2012. She also worked on the 2016 Indiana Senate race, and a primary campaign for governor in Maryland in 2017. At the time of her death she was the finance director for the Tracy Mitrano primary campaign for the U.S. House in New York State District 23.
When not working on political campaigns she spent a major part of her time overseas teaching English and other subjects in Kosovo, western Siberia, Azerbaijan, Dubai, Mongolia, China, Brazil and East Timor. She was extremely adept at navigating rough and undeveloped countries on her own and was comfortable with teaching in remote areas of the world but also among the bright lights and wealth of Dubai. She showed special concern for students who needed extra help and understanding, using her own network of friends to help if needed. By the time of her death she had visited 51 countries, a remarkable feat for anyone, but especially a 31 year old woman. Anne was also a talented writer and had published pieces in the Valley City Times-Record and the High Plains Reader among other media.
Anne's untimely death based on information available was accidental and likely caused by interaction of prescribed medications. Following years of intermittent mental health issues, she was finally correctly diagnosed at Menninger Clinic with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Psychiatrists at the Clinic were amazed that she had been able to survive and accomplish what she had, attributing her survival to her exceptional intelligence and persistence. Nevertheless, her instability prevented her from finding the long term community and marriage which she so wanted. Over the last year with proper medication from Menninger, regular counseling as well as family education, her future seemed brighter.
Annie was torn between a life of relatively low stress overseas and her desire to be involved in positive change through the political process. She had no tolerance for unfairness and dishonesty in the public sector and frequently spoke out against these injustices. Recognizing the toll political work took on her life, finally, she had told her parents in recent weeks that the current campaign would be her last. At the time of her death, she was working with a team of interesting, engaged, competent women whose company she enjoyed and was living in the home of congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano. Anne enjoyed sharing the wisdom gained from all her years of working on campaigns and was excited to make a contribution towards this one.
We saw many positive changes recently as Anne began to regain the confidence that she had all but lost from years of struggle. She had just finished repayment of sizable debts accumulated during her struggles with her illness and she was free of the tremendous mood swings which previously cast a dark cloud over her life. Remarkably, she had completed about three-quarters of the coursework required for a Master's degree in International Relations at Harvard during the years she was struggling with BPD and was now only months away from completing her degree on Harvard's campus. After completing her degree she planned to return to Dubai, a place she loved. Anne was always a hard worker and high achiever despite a lifetime of struggle with her illness. When in North Dakota, she would often accompany her father to the family farm in Dickey County, ND where she sprayed weeds, and helped keep up the farmstead.
Her parents and siblings were highly optimistic for her and had just enjoyed a Christmas holiday with her extended Luke family in Rhode Island. Annie had always been a strong advocate for women's' rights and participated in the Women's March in Ithaca on January 20th. After the march, she bought a Sunday New York Times to read when she returned home, paid several bills on her computer, and in the evening went to bed after taking her prescribed medications. She then fell asleep, never to awaken. On Sunday afternoon after Anne did not come down for lunch or for a planned party in the evening, she was found peacefully sleeping, curled around her stuffed "Bear", her constant and stalwart companion through all her journeys. Bear will now reside with her parents. Annie's parents, siblings and friends will deeply miss her wit, knowledge, zest for life, and her weekly calls from around the world letting us know that she was doing okay. Annie packed more into her 31 years than most of us do in a lifetime, possibly sensing from a young age that her days on this earth were numbered. We are eternally grateful to those who showed kindness and understanding for her frailties as she struggled with her BPD and PTSD most of her life. We hope that those people who took advantage of Anne in her difficulties, inflicted trauma upon her and caused her PTSD will take responsibility for what they have done.
Annie, it is reassuring to know you have reached a place where the demons that plagued most of your life are gone but we are also deeply saddened you are not with us here. Still, amidst the sadness of your passing we are very grateful for the sparkle you brought to our lives. You will be in our thoughts daily for the rest of our lives.
A celebration of Anne's life will be held at the Vangstad Auditorium on the campus of Valley City State University at 11:00 AM, Saturday, 3 February, 2018. Her ashes will be interred in Rhode Island in the spring. Her family requests no flowers. They will be setting up a fund for projects that address mental health problems.
Lerud-Schuldt-Mathias Funeral Home of Valley City is assisting Anne's family with arrangements. An online guestbook is available at www.lerudschuldt.com