With profound sadness we announce the passing of Annette Thi Ngoc Nguyen, age 60, on the morning of July 28th, 2020 in Burnsville, MN where she was surrounded and embraced by her 6 children.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam on January 23rd, 1960, Annette was the 2nd of 8 children to parents, Huan and Thuan Nguyen. Being the eldest daughter in a Vietnamese family, even at a young age, she was responsible for helping her mother with cooking, cleaning and taking care of her siblings all while juggling the demands of school. In April 1975, 15 year old Annette and her family managed to escape on one of the last U.S. cargo planes leaving Saigon which was now overrun by a corrupted communist government. Once in America, she was met with the challenges of integrating into an entirely new culture. These challenges were overcome with hard work, persistence, and a strong faith instilled in her since birth.
In 1985, Annette was called to her life’s vocation when she became a mother; she would have 5 more cherished children. The adversity continued to present itself in her life as she managed to raise her children as a single mother. She was also an exemplary employee, working for Ikon Office Solutions in Bloomington, MN for many years. Her youngest son, Phillip-Ian recounts as a young boy, “I remember Mom getting ready for work in the middle of the night, ever so quietly as to not wake any of us up and then return home late in the evening after a 12-14 hour shift. I always longed to go to work with Mom because I missed her so much; waking up in the morning was always the hardest for me…she was already gone.” Annette also knew how to enjoy life; she somehow saved enough money on several occasions to take her kids on out of state vacations. She was also generous; even if she only had $10 in her bank account, it would not deter Annette from tithing every Sunday at mass; she did not allow fear and worry to conquer because she knew her God was greater and would never forsake those who were faithful. Annette loved to cook and prepared many exquisite traditional Vietnamese dishes for her family. She was a die-hard MN Vikings fan; her Sunday best was Vikings apparel. She enjoyed being a Grandmother for the last 6 years of her life; spoiling them with love and affection. Annette had an adventurous and playful spirit. She enjoyed attending concerts, comedy shows, and various amusement parks; often times the only person brave enough to accompany her grandson on nausea prone rides. Most of all she loved her family and instilled in her children strong values that have served them well.
She will be remembered for many things and missed for many reasons. We will always remember her sage and at times unconventional advice. For example, it could be 85 degrees out and she would say, “Always wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, cover your head and your neck.” We will miss her excellent sense of humor; she would easily laugh at anyone’s jokes, often to the point of tears. We will miss her thoughtful text messages that contained the most beautiful and elaborate emoji’s and gifs. She always knew how to make anyone, stranger or family, feel special. Above all else, we will remember how dedicated, selfless, and loving she was to her children and grandkids. Going through her belongings recently, we found a post-it note she wrote, it said “I consider my greatest strength is my ability to provide for my kids.” She was the epitome of love, sacrifice and strength; she will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
Annette was preceded in death by her mother, Thuan. She was the beloved and proud mother of Kim (husband Karl Nyberg, their sons Theo, Harrison, and son Graham due in October); Dan (fiancée Hannah and their son Vincent due in September); Lynn (husband Atlee Lyden and their son due in November); Catalina, Anna, and Phillip-Ian. She is survived by her father Huan; her siblings Thang; Vinh (Ninh & Ha-Vi); Hoan; Hieu (Angela, Andrew, Anthony, Andrea & Albert); Hien (My, Dat, Binh, Tien, Toan, & Nhat); Chinh; and Quang (Jill, Gabe, Walter & Zeke).
Visitation will be held at Kozlak-Radulovich Funeral Home located at 1918 University Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN 55418 on Monday, August 3rd from 4:30pm until 7:30pm. If able, please RSVP on-line. Please note: in accordance with COVID restrictions, masks are required, social distancing should be practiced, and no more than 75 guests in the building at any given time.
A private Catholic funeral mass will be held at the Basilica of Saint Mary located at 1600 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 on Tuesday, August 4th. For loved ones who are not able to attend Mass that day, online streaming is available (more details to follow). Please note: in accordance with COVID restrictions, masks are required, social distancing should be practiced, and no one with a temperature of 100.0 F will be allowed in the church.
Immediately following Mass, a private procession will be led to Gethsemane Cemetery located at 8151 N 42nd Ave, New Hope, MN 55427 where Annette will be laid to rest.
A reception/Celebration of Life will be held at the Profile Event Center located at 2630 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 inside Casablanca Hall on Tuesday, August 4th at 2:30pm.
If one so chooses, as an expression of sympathy, flowers may be sent to the funeral home by 1pm on Monday August 3rd. Memorial donations may be made to the family, c/o Kim Nyberg with note in the memo line: In Memory of Annette Nguyen.
If you would like to contribute to the family's GoFund Me account, please copy and paste this into your web browser: http://gf.me/u/yjipza