Our Stories

Scott Allen Whipps

April 18, 1967 – February 5, 2006


We do not expect to outlive our children. It defies the law of nature. Yet on February 5, 2006, our son, Scott, passed away. The expectations, hopes and dreams for the future ended and our world has changed forever. The family unit will never be complete.

The loss of a child at any age is devastating. In time, the pain ceases to be constant and we are gradually aware of the happy memories that Scott left with us and for us. Scott was diagnosed with silicosis about 4 years before he passed away. We had never heard of this disease but too quickly we learned just how fast this disease progresses and how breathtakingly painful the last years of his life would be. As a mom, I wanted to, and thought I could, make things better. How I wanted to see him carry his golf clubs out the door, head to the lake for some ice fishing and even be able to throw a tennis ball to his constant companion, Maddy. The hope for a lung/heart transplant was diminishing as well as his body was just not able to fight the constant infection that beamed throughout his system. Surgery to remove a lung and 2 days later a heart bypass, could not save him. We lost our son and brother, Scott Allen Whipps, on that Sunday night. As I write this, tears are forming but a smile on my face as well. So many memories and so little time. He is resting in his eternal home now with Jesus. No more pain. No more suffering. How can I be sad? I know we will be reunited one day. God entrusted him to us for 38 years and now he awaits our arrival to his home. We honestly grieve with hope.

How could there be over 100 Angel of Hope Parks in the United States and I hadn’t heard of them? When I was contacted about being on the steering committee for the proposed park in Fergus Falls I was honored. To say this has been a humbling experience would only scratch the surface of the many emotions I feel. I had no idea there were so many of us. Those of us who had lost children of any age. We are a determined group of people who will see this dream come true. There will be a quiet place to remember, reflect, smile or shed a tear. Seeing Scott’s name amongst many will make me realize more than ever that we need to hug our children, love and cherish the gift we have been entrusted with. Thank you to the City of Fergus Falls for allowing us to proceed with plans for the park. Thank you to the other committee members for their dedication and hard work and most of all, thank you to God for giving us Scott. I love you Big Bud.

– Jim and Judy Schoon

Baby Girl Nelson

June 28, 1980 


Anna Marie Nelson

May 11, 1983 – Dec. 4, 2004


Parents are NOT supposed to bury their children. That is not the normal order that death is supposed to happen. Full term Still Born little girl isn’t suppose to happen to anyone that I know and CERTAINLY NOT ME! 21 year old’s in a car accident and dying a week later is NOT suppose to happen to anyone I know and CERTAINLY NOT ME!

Both of those situations are ones you read about happening in the newspaper to other people in other towns. NOT ME and Certainly not in my little town of Fergus Falls, MN. But, both of those situations did happen to me in my little town of Fergus Falls, MN.

June 28, 1980 – Our 1st little girl was a Full Term Still Born Baby. I didn’t get to bring home anything from the hospital. My arms were empty. Back then people didn’t talk about miscarriages or still born babies. If you didn’t get to bring a baby home – you didn’t talk a lot about it and if you did – not many people listened saying you weren’t really attached to the baby yet. Even though you carried the baby for 9 months.

June 25, 1981 – Andrew Joel was born happy and healthy. He will be 31 this year, is married to a wonderful young and has 2 wonderful little children. I am blessed that they live in my town of Fergus Falls, MN so I can see them whenever I need my Chloe and Joel fix.

May 11, 1983 – Anna Marie is born. She is a wonderful, caring, outgoing, stubborn, strong willed young lady that wanted to be different than all the other blonde haired blue eyed girls in my town of Fergus Falls, MN. At age 21 on November 26, the day after Thanksgiving she was traveling to Sioux Falls, SD to visit a friend. The weather is not the best but she insists she is going and that she is 21 and I can’t stop her from going. About 9:45 PM FF Police Officer Bruce Kolle is at my door and my heart immediately fell to my toes knowing deep down inside that something had happened to her. She had been in a car accident on I29 near the exit ramp to Summit, SD. She was in the hospital in Watertown. We had family friends that lived in Watertown and they hurried to the hospital to be there with her. She had a broken jaw, collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, broken leg, a nasty bump on her head and was unconscious. She was flown to the hospital in Sioux Falls and was in their Neuro ICU hooked up to all sorts of machines. By the time we got to see her it was 3:30 AM Saturday morning. Anna never did regain consciousness and on Saturday, December 4, 2004 at 8:59 AM Dr Pummala signed her death certificate. After that time they did keep her alive so we could honor her wish to be an organ donor. Her heart was given to Bill Korlath from Plymouth, MN. Bill died 14 months later due to other health issues. Mauricio Perez was the recipient of her liver. He is from a northern suburb of Mexico City. I traveled to Minneapolis on May 15th, 2011 to meet Mauricio. This was a bitter sweet day. And there are 2 young ladies living in Sioux Falls, Shanna & Jenn each received cornea transplants from Anna. I wish them all the best. Anna is still helping other people live a better life.

I relied on my family, good friends and my faith to help me through both situations. After Anna’s death Andrew had wonderful friends that watched over him. I cannot thank them enough for what they did for him. I knew he was being watched and taken care of.

DON’T take your children or life for granted. It can change in a minute even in my little town of Fergus Falls, MN.

Anna’s favorite quote was something she had heard Kirby Puckett say. “Live, Love, Laugh and Enjoy Life – for Tomorrow is Guaranteed to NONE of Us.”

I Love and Miss you Both.

– Mom, Julie Nelson



As the beautiful months of September and October approach each year, our thoughts bring us to a lovely Saturday, October 15th, 7 years ago. This is when our daughter, Nancy, age 36, passed away at a Fargo hospital. It just couldn’t be happening; but it was.

Our family gathered at our home that evening stunned and asking “why” over and over again. Her siblings wondered “what are we going to do without her?” Nancy loved getting together as a family and never missed an event. She always kept in close touch with what was happening in their lives. At the nursing home where she worked, she was dedicated to caring for and serving her residents as an LPN.

We were so thankful for our faith and for the support of our church, family, relatives and friends. The local grief support group helped us, as parents, cope with our new future. Camp Emily was there for our granddaughter at a time when she needed to know she wasn’t alone in losing a parent. Through all of these supports, we became so much more aware of other families who had lost children. We asked ourselves “how could we help?” As time passed, family friends contacted us to be a part of establishing an “Angel of Hope Memorial Park” in Fergus Falls. This park would honor and remember those children.

After many meetings and fundraisers, and with much community support, we celebrated the dedication of the park on May 26th, 2012. Each December 6th, a candlelight vigil will be held at the park.

A big “Thank You” to the entire community for all your help in turning this concept into the beautiful place it is now, up on the hill in Adam’s Park.


– Sincerely, Allen and Betty