On January 8, Angie Jakusz, a popular contestant on Survivor: Palau died after a three year battle with cancer. She was just 40. While born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, she was living in New Orleans at the time of her death. The one-time reality TV star leaves behind her husband Steven Calandra, who held a graveside service Wednesday.
Through her time on Survivor in 2005, the former bartender broke many barriers for donning an untraditional look, including tattoos, causing fellow contestants to be skeptical of her.
Just 25 at time of her season, the artist wowed audiences with her success in challenges, but was ultimately voted off in 13th place. Contestant Coby Archa spoke to People in the wake of her passing:
“People have to remember back in 2005 women weren’t cast on Survivor with dreads and tattoos. She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength.”
Also interesting and fairly unique these days in reference to reality TV, but according to Archa, Angie loved living a private life. He explained:
“We had heard from her family 3 years ago that she was battling cancer. We raised some money for her treatments. She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.”
Sadly, the TV personality isn’t the first from season 10 to pass either. Back in 2010, Jennifer Lyon died of breast cancer. Wishing Jakusz’s family and friends strength in this time of grieving.