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Anne McLaughlin Kuyper
6 April 2010

BISMARCK (UTN) - Anne Marie McLaughlin Kuyper, 70, died at St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, on March 25, 2010. A memorial program was held March 26 at United Tribes Technical College and Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday, April 7, at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, with the Rev. Kenneth Phillips as celebrant. Burial was set for McLaughlin Cemetery, McLaughlin, S.D.

Anne Kuyper

      Anne was a resident of Bismarck and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She was born in Cass Lake, MN, to Wallace E. McLaughlin and Dorothy (Chosa) McLaughlin on Sept. 7, 1939. She graduated from Bemidji High School, Bemidji, Minn., in 1957, and received a full scholarship to attend the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn. In 1961, she graduated with a B.A. degree, majoring in art with a minor in English and a K–12 teaching certificate. Anne was selected for the very first Peace Corps group heading to the Philippines. However, because the day before she had signed a contract to teach in Buffalo, S.D., she deferred her Peace Corps training until after the school year ended. After training in New Paltz, N.Y., she and her group were given a personal send off by President John F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C., on their way to Sierra Leone, West Africa. There she taught English to French speaking high school girls at a girls’ school in Magburaka. During one of the summers between school terms, she volunteered to teach art to young individuals living in a local leprosy colony.

      In 1965, Anne married Pieter Kuyper from Assendelft, Netherlands. Pieter was a building contractor in Sierra Leone when they met.

      Over the years, Anne taught school in three states, and worked as Economic Specialist at the Lewis and Clark Regional Planning and Development Council in Mandan for eight years. She wrote many grants to help develop rural and small towns in North Dakota. One of the projects she helped obtain funding for was the first dormitory at Bismarck Junior College, now BSC. Anne worked a total of 35 years for United Tribes Technical College, where she was primarily a general education instructor, volunteer flower gardener and caretaker at the Russell Hawkins Conference Center, up to the time of her death. She loved teaching the many students who took her classes over the years; they always were her first priority. She enjoyed working with the many special staff at UTTC. During the summer months, Anne loved to plant and tend the flowers and plants on the UTTC campus. Each year her planting budget grew. She organized a Beautifying Committee and recruited many staff and students to help, including elementary school kids on campus. Local businesses and friends also were supportive of her efforts. Anne’s emphasis was on planting perennials as they would return each spring, although she always had a display of red geraniums at the entrance of UTTC to greet the students coming to school in the fall and those coming to attend the United Tribes International Powwow.

Anne Kuyper

      Anne is survived by brothers, Richard (Geri) McLaughlin, Mandan, and Robert McLaughlin, Solen; sister, Marie McLaughlin Hanken, Bismarck; nine nieces and nephews; two great-nephews; one aunt, Bernice Arbuckle, Minneapolis; sister-in-law, Charlotte McLaughlin, Bismarck; and many extended family members of multiple generations.

      Anne was preceded in death by her parents; and sisters, Jean Marie McLaughlin and Julie Anne McLaughlin.

Remembering Annie, our ‘Flower Lady’
by David M. Gipp, United Tribes Technical College President

      On behalf of the students, staff and teachers at United Tribes Technical College, I acknowledge and express our deepest sympathy and sorrow to all who share in the passing of Anne McLaughlin Kuyper. She is of a lineage of Lakota and Chippewa and Irish.

      I have known Anne and her family since my childhood. Her mother and father were among the generation that made a pathway for Indian professionals in government service. Like her parents and her brothers and sisters, she shared a common belief of hope and success for Indian people. Anne was a veteran of the Peace Corps in Africa.

      She was among the first teachers at United Tribes when it opened. She remembered those days at the outset and the first students and staff that began in 1969.

      She worked in economic development with the Lewis and Clark Regional Economic Development and Planning Council for several years in the late 1970s, as well. All along she was a supporter and promoter of United Tribes in its mission of serving "The People" from throughout Indian Country.

      We will miss her. I will miss her. I will miss her work as a teacher and her work with students. She taught the first courses of survival skills in the early days. These were called "Personal Development" courses. She leaves her mark upon the land and among the current and future generations. It is something she did with humility. Teaching was one of her joys.

      Some years ago she became a permanent campus resident, helping with our flowers and plants on campus and coordinating a comfortable meeting area in one of our historic buildings known as the Russell Hawkins Conference Center. In exchange, she lived in the upstairs quarters and furnished a good part of the center with her own furnishings and art. Many staff and visitors came and went with only one requirement, to sign her guest book. She was welcoming and gracious to all who came there, often providing snacks or refreshments.

      She organized a campus beautifying committee and recruited many from the staff and students to help. She enlisted the help of friends and private businesses to bring plants, trees and flowers to the campus. In spring, summer and fall, she was often the first out and the last to leave tending the flower beds and garden. Over the years, she became our "United Tribes Flower Lady."

      Anne was never one to be out front or brag. She seldom complained. She knew herself quite well. As a result, she could express her views and ideas with honesty and clarity.

      To her close friends and family, she is known as "Annie." We will miss her giggle when she told jokes or a funny story. We will miss her ideas and suggestions. We will miss her optimism and her friendship and helping hand.

      She is a lovely lady... Anne is our "Flower Lady."

Ode and Tribute to Anne Marie McLaughlin Kuyper
By Marie A.M. Hanken, April 6, 2010

      Anne, gentle spirit, soft of voice, sister, teacher, and friend.

      Anne the writer, talking in past years of writing the “Great American Novel.” Time has moved on, however, and the novel never has been put to paper. The great American novel, however, interestingly enough, she played out instead of wrote: Anne lived the great American novel. Giving to others, traveling the world, meeting the man of her life in a far away Country, seeing great art in Rome, watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and then coming back to her true home of Standing Rock, United Tribes, and Bismarck, North Dakota to work out the rest of her days helping others achieve goals right up to the end!

      Over the years, Anne was a gardener, an artist, a teacher, a mentor to so many. More than anything, however, what she always wanted to pass on to everyone she has touched along the way, is: “No matter what the cost, no matter what the journey requires of you, any obstacle can be overcome if you put your mind to it!” She believed that anyone can achieve and soar to great heights, if one is willing to take that leap.

      We always have loved you, Anne. From what we have heard in recent days, many more have loved you as well. For that we our family are all thankful. We all know that you have successfully completed your journey and that you are now in a better place. However, we now have a very important question.

      What are we going to do when Monday comes? Go plant some flowers? Why not? It is springtime after all, and what are we waiting for?! Let’s go!!!!!

      Anne Kuyper Memorials

      Friends wishing to remember Anne with a Campus Beautification Donation may do so in the Office of Institutional Advancement in the basement of Sitting Bull Hall or with Wes Long Feather in the President’s Office.

      Donations will be used to continue Anne’s campus beautification work. She spent years beautifying the campus, maintaining the flower beds and gardens and advancing our efforts to go-green.

      Donations have already arrived to continue her work so it will live on after her. And, In death she already made it possible for others to see nature’s beauty. Her family received a note that her corneas have restored the sight of two individuals in Florida.

      A formal memorial to Anne will be established by the Beautification Committee that she organized.

– Suzan O'Connell, Director of Development



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