Angela Wanpen Anderson was born on March 17, 1993 (St. Patrick’s Day) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, Illinois. Her mother and been infertile for 14 years before her brother Timothy was born two years earlier on October 21, 1990. Both children were conceived using a special procedure called GIFT (gamete intra-fallopian tube transfer) in Indianapolis.
Angela was a very shy little girl when she began pre-school at Judah Christian School in Champaign, Illinois at the age of three and at Sunday school at St. Patrick’s Parish in Urbana, Illinois.
She went to public schools in Champaign. She was accepted in the Gifted Programs at Garden Hills Elementary and the Honors Program at Franklin Middle School. High school was at Champaign Centennial. She excelled in school and was very talented musically. She started playing trumpet in grade school and continued through high school performing in concert band and marching band. In middle school she took up a second instrument, the viola and played in orchestra.
After high school, she was accepted at the University Of Illinois College Of ACES. She attended her freshman year at the U of I and decided she did not like the program. The next year she went to Parkland Community College where she continued taking her general education classes and working part time while she was still deciding where she wanted her career to go.
Her first job was with Pioneer Seed International at the age of 14 working in the cornfields of Illinois, pollinating corn in the summer. When she turned 16, she began working at the Savoy 16 movie theater complex. She worked there for 6 years working her way up to a management position. At the time of her death she was working as a waitress at the White Horse Inn while continuing her education at Parkland College.
Somewhere along the line Angela lost her shyness. She was very popular in school and outside of school. People knew her wherever she went. Where she worked, her co-workers always said it was more fun to work when she was there. She was always on the cutting edge of style and social media and one of the first to start “tweeting” when Twitter started up. She was unique, not a follower. Everybody said, “She was cool and she made people feel cool too”. She had a way of making people feel comfortable around her. People that felt like they didn’t “fit in” felt like they fit in when they were around Angela. She was always there to listen or help out or say something positive when someone was down. Some people said, “She was the life of the party. The party didn’t really start until she was there and when she left, the party was over”.
She loved to watch TV and to read. “SpongeBob Square Pants” was her favorite cartoon. She had seen every episode and could watch it from morning till night. She watched the complete “Lost” series 3 times and even had a “Lost” encyclopedia. “How I Met You Mother” was her favorite sitcom and she never missed an episode of “Survivor”. She dreamed of being a contestant on that show.
Angela died December 28, 2015 of a rare condition called Stevens - Johnson syndrome. She had an eye infection and flu like symptoms on Christmas Eve and died at Carle Hospital four days later. She is missed greatly by her father and mother, Paul and Wanpen and by her brother Tim and a multitude of friends. If you would like to donate to SJS research, you can do so at https://vanderbilthealth.com/sjsresearchfund