Courageous Lyme sufferer, patient, activist and “hero”, lost her own battle to tick-borne illness on November 2, 2008. Thank you for blessing us with 41 years of “Beautiful You!”
Leslie Rae Wermers, age 41, formerly of Burt, Iowa, died on Sunday, November 2, 2008, at her home in Hopkins, Minnesota.
Leslie was born on July 7, 1967, in Algona, Iowa, to William and Lee (Sankey) Wermers. She was raised in Burt and graduated from Burt High School in 1985 and Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls in 1987. She received a Mortuary Science Degree from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and worked as a funeral director in Houston, Texas, and later as a dispatcher for the Houston Police Department. She later worked as a jailer for Crow Wing County and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.
In Brainerd, Leslie was a camp and worked at a Women's Shelter. She donated her time to worthy causes by being a member of the Jaycees and volunteered as a Big Sister. When her illness became too severe for her to continue working, she and her sister, Tracie, founded "Minnesota Lymefighter's Advocacy". Lymefighters is a Non-Profit Organization [pending] to help others suffering with Lyme disease, endemic in Minnesota.
Left to cherish her memory is her life partner, Paula Claussen and her daughter Jayde of Hopkins, MN; parents, Bill Wermers of Burt and Lee (Sankey) Wermers of Brainerd; a sister, Tracie Schissel of Brainerd, MN; a brother, Josh Wermers of Brainerd; three nephews, Erik Schissel; Judah Wermers and Reese Molby of Brainerd; Loving Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Dudder's and Ralphie, and countless Lyme patients and friends, that were so blessed to know you, if only for a brief moment.
Her beautiful service was held on November 7, 2008, at the Lentz Funeral Home in Burt, Iowa. Following her viewing, a private celebration of Leslie's life was held for close friends and relatives. Final Rest for Leslie will be at the Burt Township Cemetery in July of 2009.
Leslie was preceded in death by her grandparents, Albert and Helen Wermers and Mary Sankey.
A note from Tracie: "Leslie, you touched countless lives in so many beautiful ways, especially mine. You are my inspiration. I promise that "OUR" Minnesota Lymefighter's Advocacy - an affiliate of the Lyme Disease United Coalition - will continue in your honor and memory. Leslie, my dear sweet sister and best friend: Everything I do will be in memory of YOU!
Please visit our website to view beautiful tributes for Leslie at www.lymefighters.org
A poem selected by her father (Pops) follows:
God saw she was getting tired
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around her
And whispered, "Come with Me."
With tearful eyes we watched her suffer
And saw her fade away,
Although we loved her dearly,
We could not make her stay.
Her golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the "BEST."