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Obituaries » Nikole Andersen

Nikole Andersen

February 24, 2000 - December 27, 2022

Service Date: January 20, 2023

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

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Nikole Danielle Andersen passed away on December 27, 2022, after a lifelong battle with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and its many complications. She was born on February 24, 2000, in Austin, Texas.

Nikole is survived by her parents, her mother and guardian angel, Brandy Fagnant, her father, Chris Andersen and his family, and Adam Fagnant, who provided companionship, parental support, and friendship throughout her life; her loving siblings, Ashleigh, who was her best friend, soulmate and fellow fashion maven, and youngest sister, Dallas, who provided her with joy, hope and an escape from life’s pain. She was also survived by her great grandmother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends from all over.

Nikole was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis shortly after her fourth birthday. This began her journey of unimaginable pain and many difficulties. Despite every opportunity to complain or show negativity, Nikole maintained a positive and inspiring attitude that would lead her to win the Arthritis Foundation Dawn Hafeli Award for Youth Leadership at a national Juvenile Arthritis Conference in Anaheim, California in 2013. This award is the highest honor an Arthritis Foundation volunteer can receive. The award is presented, “To the youth or young adult who has shown exceptional courage and strength in their own experience of living with a childhood rheumatic disease, demonstrated leadership by volunteering time and talents to benefit other youth and young adults, served others through school or work activities, involved in extracurricular activities, or community service and served as a role model for children, youth and young adults with rheumatic diseases.” Nikole acting as a role model, however, was not limited to those with a disease. Anyone who came into contact with her would be inspired by her overall outlook on life and eagerness to help others. While living with constant pain throughout her life, she never complained. Nikole’s spirit went far beyond a lack of complaining. Her always stated goal was to not be defined by this disease. She was fiercely independent and to those lucky enough to be in her sphere would always see her as a bold young woman who was able to uplift anyone. In fact, she was the friend who made others forget their pain. She was a source of comfort, support and wisdom to so many.

Any parent that has a child afflicted with JIA must dedicate their lives to raise, serve, and support their child through daily treatments, hospital visits, and medication management. Nikole would want everyone to know that her mother and guardian angel Brandy did this with nothing but love.

The mysteries of life confound us all. How is it that someone who was so stricken with pain and suffering could be a prevalent and shining example for happiness and care for others? Nikole was a kind soul who gave us all perspective on how to live a joyful life. She constantly lifted the burden of others, while carrying her own. Nikole, through her life, demonstrated that helping others is truly the greatest gift of this life and always maintained that laughter was the best medicine.

A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on January 20, 2023 at Saylorville Church, 6429 NW 6th Dr, Des Moines, IA 50313.  Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for refreshments and fellowship, ending with a balloon release at Oak Grove at Saylorville Lake, 5798 NW 98th Ave, Polk City, IA 50226. Nikole’s family would dearly love to hear stories or memories from all those who would wish to share at this event.

Nikole’s family would also like to thank Pastor Trevor Meers for officiating Nikole’s service. They would also like to thank Memorial Services of Iowa for their support and guidance with the arrangements.


The Broken Chain


We little knew the day that

God was going to call your name.

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we do the same.


It broke our hearts to lose you

But you didn’t go alone.

For part of us went with you

The day God called you home.


You left us peaceful memories.

Your love is still our guide,

And though we cannot see you

You are always at our side.


Our family chain is broken

and nothing seems the same,

but as God calls us one by one

the chain will link again.



John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled;

ye believe in God, believe also in me,

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

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