Annapurna “Purni” Antisdel
Celebration of Life memorial services for Annapurna “Purni” Antisdel, 31, of Urbana, will be held at Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 3:00 p.m.
Purni passed away at 1:14 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.
She was born Oct. 2, 1982, in Ketchikan, Alaska, the daughter of Richard and Barbara (Rayska) Antisdel. They survive. Also surviving is her grandmother, Evelyn Antisdel, of Vancouver, Wash.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers and her maternal grandmother.
She was a member of the Ananda Marga spiritual community.
Since graduation from Urbana H.S. (2004) Purni attended the Developmental Services Center on Bradley Ave. for training and day care. There she also participated in The Prompting Theater.
She enjoyed music and musical theater. For many years she played baseball in the Challenger League in C-U. Recently she joined Best Buddies International.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Developmental Services Center, 1304 W. Bradley, Champaign, IL 61821.
What Purni Taught Me
by Kelli Meents
for Developmental Service Center's
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Like most of you I met Purni here at DSC first through Prompting Theatre and then in Developmental Training. What many of you may not know is I also worked with Purni for about 6 years in her home. In trying to decide what to share with you today I decided to tell you about a few of the things Purni taught me in our time together.
The first thing Purni taught me about was Challenger League baseball. I had heard of it, but never attended a game or supported someone during a game. I got to do this on a few occasions with Purni and she taught me that sports continue to be a challenge of mine. Pushing her around those bases showed me just how much I needed to get back to the gym! More than help her at the game, I typically helped her get ready to go. In this process Purni taught me that no matter what you are doing you have to look the part, which she did very well in her maroon t-shirt, white baseball pants, and baseball cap. Her baseball trading cards are some of my favorite pictures of her.
Purni taught me about different cultures and places. I would often read to her on Saturday afternoons. Under her bed were boxes filled with all kinds of interesting storybooks from all over the world. Sometimes they were in languages I couldn’t read, but the pictures were beautiful and Purni delighted in each one. As we would read, we traveled around the globe learning about folklore and fairytales and different people’s history. Her favorite stories of course included none of that business, but rather storylines about garbage trucks, silly creatures, and things breaking.
I learned to appreciate different types of music. Purni and I would listen to goofy songs by Dan Zanes, our favorite musicals, and classical pieces by composers I’d never heard of. On Saturday mornings we would stop at each musician at the Farmer’s Market and listen for a while. Purni enjoyed watching the kids dance, the music being played, and dropping her money into the musician’s case. Her particular favorite was Michael Powers, better known around town as the One Man Band. Purni and I would take walks around her neighborhood. I would sing any old song that came to mind and if I stopped Purni would crank her head around almost 180 degrees as if to say “Why’d you stop?” Usually it was because I was out of breath and when I would tell her so in an exasperated voice she would giggle, and not stop staring at me until I started singing again.
Purni and her family taught me about challenging my taste buds. When I first started working at the house I had never heard of quinoa, millet, or Kefir, but I learned about those things and more and I learned how to prepare them for me and for Purni. A few years ago when I had to drastically change my diet I found myself being totally overwhelmed and in that time I relied on recipes I learned with Purni. To this day I still make Purni’s Blender Pizza on a regular basis.
Purni taught me that movement can be overrated. That you can be still and be content. Being still helps your mind slow down enough so that you can enjoy the sounds of the birds, feel the warmth of a sun ray streaming in through your bedroom window, and engage in a daydream which she and I did on a regular basis.
Purni taught me how to laugh my way through the messy, gross, garbage parts of life.
The most awesome thing that Purni taught me about was being a good friend. See it didn’t matter if Purni saw me two times in one day, once a week, once a month, or maybe once every 6 months. Every time she saw me she would smile that super great smile of hers as if to say “It’s so good to see you!” instead of “Where’ve you been?” which is what a lot of us would do if we hadn’t talked to someone in a while and had no valid reason other than busyness. She didn’t forget her friends. A month or so ago Purni was in the audience of the play I was in and as soon as another friend of hers came on stage and spoke her line Purni started laughing. I do think she thought the line was funny, but I also believe she recognized that voice as a friend from the Prompting Theatre that she hadn’t seen or heard from in a while. I had to work hard to not break character because it made me smile to hear her in the audience. I’m happy that is my final memory of Purni. I hope all of you have very good Purni moments in your mind and heart to think back on from time to time.
Barb and Rick—Thank you for allowing me to be part of Purni’s life. Thank you for trusting me enough to leave your most valuable and beautiful treasure in my care every so often. Thank you for sharing her with me and all of us so that our lives could be enriched by knowing Purni.
Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.
Blessings on you, Mohan Kumar and Viniita. Ambhujaks’a and I send our greatest wishes for peace and consolation in this time of big changes for you. Anna Purna is now free to move on after experiencing a life that, I’m sure, was very difficult for all of you in many ways, but full of love, dedication, and development for all. Thanks for keeping in touch. Baba Nam Kevalam…..I will remember her in Kiirtan the next few days, seeing her surrounded by love and light as she moves on.
Arpana’ Devi and Ambhujaks’a