Renee Ann Ridgeway, 59, of Hibbing, went to be with her Lord & Savior after passing away peacefully on July 2nd 2021, at the University of Minnesota Medical Center- Minneapolis, primarily due to complications from transplanted lung rejection.
Renee was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, November 4th, 1961, the first child of Fred and Phyllis Angelo.
In youth, Renee was a member and active participant in 4-H, her church youth group, as well as raising a horse named Taconite from birth. She spent several years in her teens committed to its care, loved to ride him, and participated in numerous horse shows. After graduation from Hibbing High School she became united in marriage to Bryan Ridgeway, also of Hibbing. The couple had two sons, Gabriel and Grant Ridgeway, whom she lovingly devoted her time and attention to deciding to be a stay at home mother through their elementary years. During this time she managed the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church nursery. As her sons grew older, Renee became a Pupil Support Assistant (PSA) for the Hibbing School District and continued for over 18 years, working primarily with special education students, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Around 2010 she began to experience breathing difficulties, which slowly worsened and then was eventually diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in early 2013. She was put on a transplant waiting list through the University of Minnesota and received a double lung transplant that October. Renee initially was against having a transplant and had little fear of dying relying on her faith, but then decided to go forward desiring to spend more time with her family and seeing her grandchildren grow.
Her lung transplant bought her an additional 7 years-8 months of life and she was strong during this time having to put up with taking anti-rejection medication four times a day as well as other challenges that come with a transplant. In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic was a deep concern for her being high at-risk for catching it herself, only to become victim of a fall outside of a restaurant that October and breaking her hip. The following hip replacement surgery and treatment drained her emotionally and physically, contributing to her health declining rapidly and leading up to her passing.
Renee will be remembered for her faith, kindness, and ability to stand up for and defend any person or living thing that she felt was being mistreated. She was a private and reserved person preferring to be around family, or just a few individuals at a time; she did not care for crowds or attention being focused on her. She was recently described by a family member as being, "Refined and eloquent, but equally feisty and strong.", this described her nicely.
Renee loved nature and wildlife, particularly wolves, loons, and chickadees. Closer to home, she was fond of horses and dogs, especially Yorkshire Terriers, owning several of them over her life. She liked going on rides with her husband, traveling down quiet back roads and venturing to the North Shore was her favorites. Renee was born an Iron Ranger with a long family heritage of "Rangers" going back to the early 1900's and was totally content with living and staying on the range.
Renee was a former member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, the Lung Transplantation New Life Support Group, and the IPF-Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group. She will be dearly missed by her husband, children, grandchildren, and other family members. We will always be blessed by her memories, which will bring a warmth to our hearts and a smile to our faces whenever we think of her.
Renee is survived by her husband of 40 years, Bryan Ridgeway of Hibbing; sons Gabriel (Jacqueline) Ridgeway of Barnesville, MN; Grant (Samantha) Ridgeway of Moline, IL; grandchildren Kaleb, Gabriella, and Ashton Ridgeway all of Barnesville, MN; brother Tim (Tracy) Angelo of Hibbing; brother Pat (Dawn) Angelo of Hibbing; and sister Dina Glasser of Hibbing; aunt, Helen Donovan of Chisholm; nephew Giovanni Angelo; nephew Blake Angelo; nephew Jon Angelo; niece Nicole Glasser; and nephew Angelo Glasser; numerous cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Fred and Phyllis Angelo, grandparents, and several aunts, uncles, other relatives.
A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hibbing, Friday July 16th, at 1:00 p.m., visitation will be one hour before the service at the church.
Family services are provided by Anderson-Daniels, a Bauman Family Funeral Home, in Hibbing. To express condolences on-line please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com.
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