By Nicole Brodzik
After a two year battle with pancreatic cancer, Westonka School Board Vice Chair Ann Bremer passed away on Feb. 18. She died at home with her family. She was 52 years old.
Bremer leaves behind her husband, Scott, and their two daughters. Bremer had been a member of the Westonka School Board since 2004, where she spent time as chair, and then vice chair, and spent years prior to her election as a parent volunteer for the district. Current school board members remember her as a caring member of that community who was always putting students first, even before her own needs.
“I’ve never met a person more dedicated to serving our student body,” Westonka School Board Chair David Botts said. “She never put herself or her needs in front of the community. It was an honor to serve with her on the school board.”
Bremer was also an active volunteer in the community, working with WeCAN in a variety of capacities including serving on their board.
“Ann Bremer was an amazing volunteer and a very special friend to WeCAN,” Executive Director Christie Larson. “Whether it was packing food bags for the Mobile Market or signing her name to nearly every item at our Empty Bowls silent auction, Ann was always there for us.”
Bremer also served as a representative for the Westonka School Board on Intermediate District 287 since 2008. ISD 287 is made up of representatives from 12 local school boards and meets a few times a month. It was an official way for Bremer to represent the Westonka community, but Superintendent Kevin Borg said she represented her community unofficially every day of her life. He said he, and many others, were inspired by Bremer’s dedication to community and Westonka school children despite her illness and personal battles.
“Everyone feels overwhelmed at times in what they do and she overcame that,” Borg said. “Just her sheer volunteer service, whether with our school board, or Intermediate 287 or WeCAN, she was an inspiration.”
Her dedication to Westonka earned her a 2016 All State School Board honor, one that was well earned according to Borg.
“She was a voice for those who didn’t feel they had one,” he said. “Student needs were student needs. Some don’t have the advocate, or the volume, and she was a blessing to those students, and to all students in the Westonka School District.”
The Westonka School Board thanked her for her dedication in 2015 by creating the Ann Bremer White Hawks Award for “extraordinary service to the students of Westonka.” Recipients of that award include Sharon Thaler, Bill LaTour, Randy Lee, Scott Bjorlin and Sarah Reinhardt.
It was a fitting tribute to a woman that so many regarded as the best of the best when it came to student service.
“She was always a reminder to us that there were a large number of people who needed our help,” Botts said. “Numerous students and community members benefited from her being here with us. She will truly be missed.”