Stillwater Family Remembers Daughter Killed by Amoeba

Updated: 05/19/2013 9:47 AM By: Katherine Johnson

Rain Saturday morning in Stillwater wouldn't seem like the kind of weather to spruce up a park, but Chad and Bridget Bahneman are enjoying it all the same.

"It's a wonderful day, despite the rain," said Chad Bahneman. "I don't even notice it."

It's been almost three years since they lost their daughter, Annie, to Amoebic Meningitis. The seven-year-old contracted the rare infection while swimming in Lily Lake in Stillwater.

"There's a lot of losses when you have a child die and they kind of keep coming," said Bridget Bahneman.

So she and her husband, joined by friends and family, are adding something to their lives by planting dozens trees in honor of Annie at her favorite park.

"Annie's first swing ride was at this park and she learned to ice skate at the park," said Bridget Bahneman. "From our backyard, you can hear kids laughing and talking and playing and so, it's always been a part of our life and it was a part of hers."

The Bahnemans purchased the trees using money from Annie's memorial fund. The city of Stillwater joined in by donating the mulch, helping a family get their silver lining on the cloudy day.

"One of the main losses is that you don't get to see them grow and change," said Bridget Bahneman.  "For me, this is a way that we get to see something grow and change every year."

"We've had a lot of bad days," said her husband. "This is a good day."