Family, community mourn after Oregon City woman killed: ‘She was a gift’

Linda Hurst describes her daughter, Anna Wessel, as a loud kid growing up who fell in love with music.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:52 PM PST
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LONGVIEW Wash. (KPTV) - Linda Hurst describes her daughter, Anna Wessel, as a loud kid growing up who fell in love with music.

“From the time she was one she was singing and dancing,” Hurst said. “By the time she was four, she asked me for piano lessons. We had eight kids, she was in the middle. We waited until she was about nine before I finally gave up and got her a piano teacher. After she worked with her for a little while I told the teacher she wanted lessons when she was four and the teacher said we should have gotten them because she was that talented.”

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At 8 years old, doctors found holes in the bone of her foot. Hurst says despite surgeries and being put on medication Wessel was still in extreme pain.

“The heavy doses of medication threw her into a fibromyalgia state,” said Hurst. “She couldn’t sleep at night, she couldn’t walk long distances, she had a wheelchair for a while. This went on for 10 years. It was a struggle.”

Despite the pain, Wessel’s love for music continued to grow through the years. She learned to play various instruments, including the piano and bassoon.

Wessel met her husband in college and they had four children.

They eventually ended up in Oregon City, where earlier this week police say her husband shot and killed her.

Hurst says over the last several days, they’ve discovered how loved her daughter was in the community.

“Everybody knew her,” said Hurst. “She got a job at Geeks and Games. She got to meet a lot of people. As we go out people come to us and tell us how much they loved her.”

Hurst says two of Wessel’s daughters still wanted to be part of a play this week and when the family got there to find their seats, they noticed one had been reserved for Wessel.

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Hurst says she played piano for the high school.

“They had flowers,” said Hurst. “We just sat there and cried. The theater director came up and said this is Anna’s chair for all the performances, this is where she sits.”

As the family mourns, Hurst wants people to remember Wessel as someone who loved her family, friends, and her community.

“She was always outgoing, super intelligent, so funny, and such a storyteller,” said Hurst. “She was inquisitive, loved to play games, and loved people. She could see into the heart of people and see what they needed. She was a light to everyone. We are still shattered. She was a gift and will be missed.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to support the Wessel children