The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 27, 2012

Andrea L. 'Anie' Nadeau

—   Andrea Louise Nadeau, age 53, of North Mankato, passed away Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at Oak Terrace Assisted Living, after a long battle with brain damage.

  Diagnosed as a teenager with a rare inoperable brain tumor, Andrea was treated with life saving but very risky whole brain radiation therapy, which over the next 35 years slowly damaged her brain.  The damage was slow and imperceptible in the beginning, but she spent the last 15 years of her life in disability.

  A Celebration of Andrea's Life will be

held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at Belgrade United Methodist Church, North Mankato.  Private family burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, St. Peter.

  Visitation will be from 9:30 until the time of service Wednesday at the church.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to The American Brain Foundation,   Northview-North Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

  Andrea was born April 16, 1959 to Robert and Ann Louise (Brainerd) Nadeau in Champaign, IL.  Her family moved to Mankato in 1964, where she had a very happy childhood with her parents, Robert and Ann and her four younger siblings, Jeffrey, Amy, Tracy, and Robert.  Andrea showed a natural musical talent and became a flutist.  She played not only with the high school orchestra where she won state wide accolades, but also with the Mankato State University Orchestra.

  Andrea went on to become a music and French major at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  After graduation she taught private flute students and worked for many years for the United States Postal Service.  She also worked as a live in home health aide for two disabled women.  Her experience with them mirrored her own experience as a disabled person later in her own life.

  Life was often difficult for Andrea, who always knew that her brain didn't work the same way others' brains did.  She had to focus more diligently, unable to multi task as others could.  As her abilities diminished she found ingenious was to compensate and cover up her difficulties until no more compensation was possible and she had to give up her independence.

  By the end of her life she was unable to walk, eat, or speak and was completely reliant on the wonderful staff and caregivers at Oak Terrace Assisted Living, to whom her family is eternally grateful.  Through it all, her compassion and strength always shone brightly.

  Andrea is survived by her father, Robert Nadeau of North Mankato; four siblings, Jeffrey Nadeau of Chanhassen, Amy Nadeau of Shakopee, Tracy (Gary) Day of North Mankato, Robert (Rachel) Nadeau of Maple Grove; five nieces and nephews, Jessica and Joshua Day of North Mankato, Nathaniel (Shaina) Nadeau of Tucson, AZ, Robert and Charles Nadeau of Maple Grove; two great nephews, Tristan and Liam Nadeau; two aunts, Frances Carpenter of South Hadley, MA; Joan Cotton of Denver, CO; and many extended family.

  Andrea was preceded in death by her mother, Ann on May 15, 2012.

  Andrea's courageous struggle, fierce independent spirit, and deep love for her family are an inspiration for everyone who knew her.  It is a great blessing to know that she no longer has to suffer.  She will be greatly missed.

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