Connections - 02.28.24

In Memoriam: Nikki Storebo, Mt Olivet Rolling Acres

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ANCOR was deeply saddened to hear that longtime friend and fierce advocate, Nikki Storebo, passed away earlier this month following a courageous battle against cancer. Nikki spent the past seven years working for Minnesota member Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres. Read Nikki’s full obituary.

To commemorate her, we asked colleagues who worked closely with Nikki over the years to share their thoughts. We hope that through her work and how she touched and changed lives, her memory can become a source of comfort for those who were close to her.

Barbara Merrill

“Nikki had such a way about her! We adored her. Her unbridled love of life and passion for her work was infectious. We delighted in working with her, and when she became sick, Team ANCOR celebrated her victories and further bonded in our collective admiration and concern during the setbacks. At one time she posted a wish list on Amazon to ease her hospital stay—it included lots of practical and comforting items, but when I saw she was also asking for one of my favorite works of non-fiction (The Devil in the White City)—I let out a huge laugh and ordered it for her!

Because why should  a serious diagnosis stop someone from reading a fascinating story about the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition and  a serial killer on the loose? That was the Nikki I knew and loved. A spirit like hers never goes out of style; her humor and passion will continue to be an enormous source of inspiration for me, and our ANCOR staff.”

Gabrielle Sedor

“I first got to know Nikki as a member of our inaugural class of the Leadership Academy, where her feedback and openness helped us to transform it into the program it is today. I soon started to see Nikki pop up and perform is several different ANCOR spaces; she’s played vital roles in our government relations, our conference planning and our Board of Representatives.

Mount Olivet and Minnesota had the best ambassador and advocate in Nikki here in the association, in DC and beyond. Her infectious smile, positive attitude and curiosity will be missed and not soon forgotten.”

Donna Martin

“A specific memory I have of Nikki happened in 2019 when she attended an ANCOR Policy Summit which included Hill Visits and a Congressional Briefing on the last day. That last day, Nikki was grouped with me and another member from Ohio as we headed over to the Capitol. I remember her being so excited and talking about how much she loved participating in our advocacy work and how she appreciated ANCOR for creating these opportunities to be on Capitol Hill.

When we got up close, she asked that I take her picture [seen above] and proudly held up the ANCOR sign! I always think of Nikki when I am in that area and now more than ever will be reminded of her excitement and dedication to advocacy for people with disabilities. I appreciate Nikki for reminding me about the collective strength of our voices and the impact we make when we are united in our commitment and enthusiasm.”

Elise Aguilar

“It was a great honor to work with Nikki, and to get to know her personally. When it came to ANCOR’s advocacy she was always the first to volunteer or to share a new, creative idea. She remained an active co-chair of the Grassroots Committee, even throughout her diagnosis and treatment. The light she brought to ANCOR will be greatly missed.”

Sean Luechtefeld

“I didn’t know Nikki as well as many of our colleagues did, but I knew her well enough to have followed her journey with cancer and to have felt inspired by the grace and optimism she showed throughout the many ups and downs she faced. I also knew her well enough that I lit up whenever she entered the room—real or virtual—in part because I knew it meant she was feeling pretty good, all things considered.

Her commitment to the people supported by Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres, as well as her many contributions to ANCOR’s work at the national level, will forever remind me of her zeal for life and her unrelenting advocacy in service of the belief that people with disabilities deserve every opportunity to live fully inclusive lives.”