Smedinghoff Family Statement

The world lost a truly beautiful soul today. Our daughter, Anne, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, died in the service of her country as she was traveling with a group to deliver books to a local school in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan. She joined the Foreign Service three years ago right out of college and there was no better place for her. Anne absolutely loved the work she was doing. Her first assignment was in Caracas, Venezuela. She then volunteered for an assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which she began in July, 2012. Working as a public diplomacy officer, she particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work directly with the Afghan people and was always looking for opportunities to reach out and help to make a difference in the lives of those living in a country ravaged by war. We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved, and that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world. She was such a wonderful woman–strong, intelligent, independent, and loving. Annie, you left us too soon; we love you and we’re going to miss you so much.

Tom & Mary Beth Smedinghoff

17 Replies to “Smedinghoff Family Statement”

  1. Humaira Ayoub

    Dear Tom and Mary Smedinghoff,
    As an Afghan Women I truly regret what has happen to Anni, God bless her
    sole, she was a wonderful person, I know it must have been very hard for you, there is no word in my dictionary to explain my true feeling, but I could only say that I’m really sorry for your loss.


  2. Najeebullah Alokozay

    Dear Parents,

    Anne becomes an angle in the heaven and she will be with us to support her goal. I as a young Afghan man, will never forget her services. Thanks from you that grew such strength girl and thank from my angle Anne to helped my people. I wish to have good English skill to explain my emotions for you that how much she was and is important for me.

    Heartily esteems,
    Najeebullah Alokozay
    +93 (0) 794351454

    • tammy tokarski

      Tom and MaryBeth
      I am very sorry for your loss, may God comfort you in this time of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  3. Deborah Tokarski

    Dear Mary Beth and Family:

    May God’s divine power provide you strength and courage in these times. I pray you are filled with the peace and assurance that Anne will never be forgotten.


    Your cousin Debbie Tokarski

  4. Grace and Dave Whiting

    Dear Tom and Mary Beth and family,
    Our hearts are broken at the loss of beautiful Anne. We are so very sorry and extend our sympathy to all of you. She was intelligent,funny, adventurous and such a generous soul; it was wonderful to know her. Be assured that she will never be forgotten. May the good Lord comfort you.
    With our prayers and our love to your family.
    Grace and Dave Whiting

  5. Sayed Fazil Amin

    Dear Tom and Mary Smedinghoff,
    My heart broke into pieces two weeks ago when I learned of the sudden, unexpected death of your daughter (Anne), and I cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow.

    I wish I had words to comfort and sustain you in your grief, but I know there are none that will take away any pain you are feeling now. My heart aches for you, all Afghans and my arms long to embrace you. Enen my knees know your grief, as I have been on them in prayer for you.

    Although, words seem futile now in the midst of your sorrow, they are all I have to give you. Please accept these written words as warm hugs to wrap yourself in, and know that I am holding you in my heart at this sad and difficult time.

    With all My Love

  6. Sue A. Ross

    Dear Tom & MarI;y Beth,
    Last Sunday, I saw the headlines in the Tribune that a US diplomat was killed, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Our son Nate called us around noon to say that the story in the headlines was about Anne. I didn’t know her well, mostly through what Nate told me about her, but that was enough. Our family grieves with yours. Anne was lovely in every way that matters. I was so proud when Nate persuaded her to be his date to the Fenwick homecoming dance. I knew even then that she was someone very special. We are sorry for your terrible loss. I’m sorry for the what we have all lost in her passing. The world was a better place when Anne was in it, and it is diminished by her absence.
    God bless you and give you comfort.

  7. Don Nekrosius

    You lost a wonderful daughter and we all lost an exemplary citizen, a person willing to be the face of America to the rest of the world. Please know that all those white ribbons around Oak Park and River Forest express our sympathy for your loss and our collective esteem for a superior American.

  8. Afghan Boy

    When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
    Our hearts do actually go out for the loss of our nice colleague she always came in support of Afghan Children and Afghan people.
    Rest in peace Anne.

  9. Just Someone who know her from social media

    Congratulations in this sad moment. As parents and American, both of you have succeeded raising a patriot, a American, and an angel. Now she is waiting for all of us in heaven after accomplishing the mission from FATHER in this worldly world. The world needs more love like her love. Faith, Hope, and Love and the greatest of all is Love. God be with you and your family.

    a friends from facebook

  10. Molly Hong

    Dear Tom and Mary Smedinghoff,

    My four-year-old daughter learned about Anne’s work and sacrifice in preschool at Concordia. They made American flags in Anne’s honor and have been praying for her. Whenever we pass a tree with a ribbon on it, my daughter brings up your daughter and how she is a hero because she had just finished delivering books to a school before she was hurt and died.

    Your daughter is such a role model for young girls like my daughter. I am so sorry for your loss and admire how you raised your daughter.

    May you know, that even though Anne is gone, she lives on in mind of my daughter, though they never met.

    Molly Hong

  11. Erin Weed

    Dear Smedinghoff family,

    While I didn’t know Anne (or maybe we met when we were both very young), I just wanted to write and say I am so, so sorry…and what a true inspiration your daughter was…and will continue to be.

    I was also wondering if you’d give me permission to write a memorial post about Anne on the blog for Girls Fight Back? ( She really exemplified everything we try to instill in our girls – to be strong, to be brave and to make a difference.

    Hugs and peace,
    (daughter of JoAnne and Wyman)

  12. Narcy Robles (Current Fenwick Junior)

    Dear Smedinghoff Family,

    Anne came to visit my class back in December and her intelligence and her passion to help others was inspiring and infectious. It makes me proud to know exactly what Fenwick women are capable of acchieving. Her memory will never be forgotten in my heart and she motivates me everyday to strive for my dreams and grow into an independent woman just as she was. My sincerest prayers go out to all of you for the loss of your beautiful daughter Anne.

    Narcy Robles(:

  13. Rhonda McGuire

    To Tom and Mary Beth and Family,

    It was an honor to meet you both today. We want to thank you for the privilege of allowing us to reach out to you in remembering Anne. We will be praying for you in the days, weeks and years to come – that you’ll know His comfort.

    As I drove down Thatcher and once again saw all the ribbons tied to the trees in honor of your child, now America’s fallen young diplomat, my heart ached as I walked in your shoes for just a moment. You do not walk this path alone….

    She will never be forgotten.

    Your son has done a wonderful job on this website…

    May you find comfort and healing. Sincerest,
    Rhonda McGuire of
    God Bless The Troops

  14. Anne Seshadri

    Dear Smedinghoff Family,

    Was proud to be at Anne’s Memorial Service today at the DOS. What a wonderful role model. I want to be a better Public Diplomacy Officer because of her. You should be very proud of her life and accomplishments. My family is keeping you in our prayers.


    Anne Seshadri, FSO

  15. Yvonne Stahl

    Dear Anne Smedingoff family
    I am Kelly Hunt’s aunt. I am so sorry for your loss. I never had a chance to meet Anne in person, but I wish I could have. She was a inspiration to women around the world. If there is anything I can do for you or your family, please let me know.
    God Bless you and your family
    Yvonne Stahl


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