Our beloved mother and grandmother, Virginia Fae Raniele, 87, of San Diego, Calif., passed away peacefully at her residence, Anna Maria Creekside, Sunday, November 14, 2010.
Virginia "Ginny" was born June 25, 1923, in Brandt, S.D. She was the fourth of six children, born to Alma and Sjenna Kjenstad. At age four, her family moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where she was raised in the traditions of her proud Norwegian immigrant family.
Ginny's home life was busy with the lives of five sisters and a brother singing at home and church, and frequent extended visits from the South Dakota relatives. She graduated from high school in 1941, and saw many of her classmates head off to World War II. She attended Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with a degree in social work. Ginny began her career in the county department of childrens' services and adoptions.
In 1952, she married Fred Raniele, and moved to the iron range of northern Minnesota, where Fred had been raised and now worked as a schoolteacher. Her three children, Beth, Janet, and Dean, were born while living there. In 1967, the family left their familiar Minnesota surroundings to move to Toledo, Ohio, where her husband had accepted a position as college dean at the University of Toledo. After raising her children, Ginny returned to adoption services work, where her focus was on finding homes for hard to place children.
Following the death of her husband, Fred, in 1979, she retired from social work in 1985, and moved to San Diego, Calif., to be near her sisters, Yvonne Reid and Gloria Wigfield. These were fun-filled times of sisterly projects, family gatherings and frequent walks in her beloved Balboa Park. Her children and four grandchildren cherished their frequent visits with "Gram" at the "family compound" in sunny San Diego!
Ginny loved bridge, mystery novels, Democratic politics, symphonic music, crossword puzzles, the beauty of flowers in nature, and most especially, her family. She was dearly loved by her close extended family, children and especially her four grandchildren, of whose lives she was such a significant part. In the midst of our often hectic lives, she was always a calm presence.
Virginia is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth (Alain) Guichard and Janet Booth; son, Dean (Barbara) Raniele; grandchildren, Kristen Booth and Sarah, Mark and Rachel Raniele; and sister, Gloria Wigfield. She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Raniele; siblings, Sonia Gabrielson, Sam Kjenstad, Yvonne Reid and Mae Stanley; and son-in-law, Brian Booth.
Ginny's family would like to thank all the wonderful staff and caregivers at Anna Maria Creekside who knew her and provided such tender loving care during her final days.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 27, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., at Perl-Siskiyou Memorial Chapel, 2100 Siskiyou Boulevard, Medford, Ore.