Anne Marie was born October 24, 2002, to Dan and Madonna Gieske. She joined siblings Joseph, Elizabeth, and Jessica. Anne Marie was an easy child with a pleasant disposition. She nurtured a special relationship with each of her siblings and they enjoyed the light and energy she brought to their lives and their family.

Anne Marie was an intelligent child who learned quickly. Elizabeth recalls riding on an elevator with young Anne Marie, who pointed out the numbers 1-4, then loudly continued counting well past what one would expect for a child her age. Jessica recalled that Anne Marie was not a morning person but one who loved to snuggle in bed if she could. Jessica would coax her out by telling her they could be twins and dress alike.

As a young kindergartener, Anne Marie got the phone number for one of her young classmates and thought nothing of calling her at 10pm! While in the first grade, Anne Marie wrote to Joseph, who was a freshman at UK. Madonna had given Anne Marie a roll of stamps, so she put them to good use, sending Joseph pictures and letters. She decided to host a s’mores party and invited all her classmates to her house from 4-6 on a Friday evening. Luckily her parents got word of the party from other parents so they could help the party go off without a hitch.

One of her early school assignments was to write a story titled, “All about me!” Every line of Anne Marie’s story included the word Skyline: “I love to eat Skyline. I love the pictures on TV about Skyline. When I grow up, I want to work at Skyline!” Madonna took the story to the local Skyline Chili, and they hung it up for all to see. No one who knew Anne Marie was surprised that as soon as she reached working age, she got a job at Skyline. She and her sisters would practice how to wait on people; they would role-play different scenarios she may encounter, and everyone agreed she was a fabulous worker.

Anne Marie was tremendously organized and loved to make lists. She decided she wanted a cat and scattered Post-it notes throughout the house proclaiming, “I want a cat!” She convinced her parents to take her to Skyline in Erlanger which just happened to be next to the local pet store. She had brought her allowance and wished to purchase a cat on her own, however, her request was vetoed, and she went home without a cat.

Anne Marie was quite tender-hearted, often crying if she saw suffering. Friends and family described her as “an introvert who loved people.” Always popular in school, friends were drawn to her by her loving spirit and enthusiasm for life. As the youngest child, Anne Marie had the benefit of learning from her siblings. Joseph would make special pop song recordings and she loved to play the latest “Fireflies” song for her friends. Anne Marie was often heard singing in the house, sometimes in her beautiful soprano voice she sang, “Phantom of the Opera.” She loved to bake cookies, muffins and pies.

Anne Marie attended Beechwood School for 13 years where she was a straight A student. She believed you should follow the rules and she could be rather prim and proper. Her family recalls while riding in the family car with Anne Marie, she frequently pointed out if they were speeding or needed to honk at someone for a traffic infraction.

Anne Marie was very close to her cousin, Isabel. They communicated in their own language by quoting scenes from movies or television shows. When the two were quite young they held tea parties and took ballet lessons together. Anne Marie enjoyed the gift of family gatherings that included the extended Gieske and Klein families. She became close friends with all her cousins and loved to hang out with them.

The Gieske Family was quite musical, and when Anne Marie took up the clarinet she practiced diligently. She became a brilliant clarinetist, playing her mother’s own clarinet, and enjoying a 6-year career as a member of the marching and concert bands at Beechwood School. She was selected to participate in All-State Band, and she joined the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra her sophomore year. She was admitted to the Governor School of Arts in clarinet performance and served as Drum Major for the marching band during her senior year. Anne Marie participated in Winter Guard, a performance and competitive troupe performing dance routines that included twirling flags and rifles. She had a natural poise and terrific dance moves.

Upon graduation she received the John Phillips Sousa award for excellence in music. While at the University of Kentucky she played clarinet in the concert band and was first chair for both semesters of her freshman year.

While in high school, Anne Marie was on the homecoming and prom courts and was crowned Winter Formal Queen her junior year. The senior class thought so highly of Anne Marie that they voted her “Miss Beechwood.”

Anne Marie was an avid reader; she loved the Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings was her all-time favorite series. She enjoyed the young adult books in the library. When Elizabeth became old enough to drive, she would take Anne Marie to the Erlanger library, and they would turn the outing into an adventure by creating a scavenger hunt. They challenged one another to “find a book about a vampire or find a book with a family member’s name in the title. It was a special time between sisters. She also loved playing Wordle, Word Jumbles and Bananagrams. She was very competitive and loved to win.

Anne Marie cherished her Catholic faith as a gift she had been blessed with and she tried to follow her parents’ example of how to live out her faith. She loved her parents’ strong relationship and wanted one of her own someday. She loved the Lord and nurtured her growing relationship with God. She attended Blessed Sacrament Church and became a team leader for the youth group in high school. She also volunteered at Rose Garden Mission and loved to help with the Christmas charities. Every Monday Anne Marie picked up her Grandmother Gieske and they would go to Mass together. Their time together became even more special when they followed the Mass with coffee and pastries at Graeter’s.

After graduation, Anne Marie decided to pursue a nursing degree at the University of Kentucky.

She was interested in even the simple tasks of bathing a patient and caring for the elderly; but really just looked forward to becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Anne Marie shared her faith in ways that were public, yet so natural that others admired it and were drawn to it. She had light and radiance when she was deep in prayer. When once again offered the Sacrament of Holy Communion following the Covid epidemic, Anne Marie was overcome with joy and emotion. She was comfortable praying the rosary in public and on campus at the University of Kentucky. She loved the Newman Center on campus, especially the Marian Grotto, which she eagerly introduced to anyone who visited. She would place yellow roses at the foot of the statue in devotion. At the Newman Center she became a Core leader and would help plan events for the students.

At UK, Anne Marie participated in the Korean Club. She loved singing and dancing to K-Pop music. She decided in January of 2022 that she wanted to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea.

She was able to go to Korea for the Fall, 2022 semester. She loved the Korean people and their politeness, their culture, and customs. In return, she made many special friends with the international students and her Korean classmates. She excelled studying the language and remained in constant communication with her family, with whom she shared her joy and enthusiasm. She was flourishing and happy. One Sunday, following the Catholic Mass, Anne sent a video of herself to the family. She was sitting in a quiet cafe reading her Bible and journaling. This was a perfect picture of what Anne Marie loved to do most: spending time with God.

Tragically, Anne Marie died on Saturday, October 29, 2022. She died much too soon, and her death is difficult to understand. Anne Marie accomplished more in her brief 20 years than many do in a lifetime, and anyone who knew her was blessed to be touched by this devout woman of faith. She would want to be remembered as a young woman of pure and genuine faith and a sincere love of God. She had a special love for Mary, Jesus, and the Eucharist. Her beautiful life shined on earth and now her smile and radiance shine in the presence of her Jesus. Her faith will be her legacy that lights the way for all who loved her.

Story written by
Marsha Linnemann
Linnemann Family Funeral Homes