Renee Ann Bernier, 50, West Fargo, ND passed away December 2, 2017 in her home. She was born April 21, 1967 to Kenneth and Patricia (Schmidt) Bernier in Fargo, ND. Renee grew up in Kent, MN, and graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1985. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1990 and her Associate's degree in Interior Design in 1991, both from North Dakota State University. While a student there, she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Renee gave the gift of life to her daughter and only child, Abby Hammes, in 1990. She was a long time employee of the United States Postal Service and retired in January of 2015 when she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Renee was an energetic spirit. She loved spending time with her family and friends, especially at the lake - laughing, eating and drinking. Her creativity and artistic abilities inspired hobbies and talents such as banner making, hand printing, coloring, and interior decorating. In her last years, Renee spent much of her time researching her family history, tracing parts of her lineage all the way back to the 1400s. Following her diagnosis, Renee was highly involved in the ALS community, participating in local monthly support groups and attending the ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Although ALS is a terminal diagnosis, Renee often said that she didn't feel like she was dying, but that she was finally given a chance to live - that the only thing that she had to do with her remaining time was to love people. All those who came in contact with her would attest that she succeeded in that final goal. Renee is survived by her daughter, caregiver, and light of her life, Abby Hammes; parents Ken and Patty (Schmidt) Bernier; siblings Dan (Nora) Bernier, Tom (Cassi) Bernier, Marcy (Brett) Corbitt, and Mike (Wendy) Bernier; nieces and nephews Josh, Jake (Miranda), Jenna, Max, and Sam Bernier and Erika, Morgan, Zoey, and JorJee Corbitt, who affectionately knew her as "Noonay"; her sweetheart Pete Quortrup; her furry companion, Truman; and countless friends. She is preceded in death by her grandparents; multiple aunts, uncles and cousins; and a nephew who never had a chance to know the world. A celebration of Renee's life with food, music, beverages, stories, and laughter will be held at Copper Ridge Event Center on Sunday, December 10 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm. A prayer service will also be held Wednesday, December 6 at 7:00pm at St. Benedict's Church, Wild Rice, with visitation beginning at 5:00pm. There will be a reception following the prayer service at the church. Memorials may be directed to the ALS Association MN/ND/SD chapter; the family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the association's staff for their services and support.

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  1. To all her family and friends; my heart is hurting with yours. Time will heal the majority of the ache today and allow her to live on so vibrantly in our memories. (((Hugs))) to all of you! <3

  2. Our deepest condolences for the Bernier family for the loss of Renee! God has requested her home. The impact she made on others in her life will never be forgotten. God bless you all! Ilene and Jeff Morosetti

  3. To all of Renee’s family and friends, I have you in my prayers for peace in your heart and mind. Renee was not a close friend, mostly because of distance between us. What I did know of her, I valued and loved. She was creative, funny, smart and could bring the best out of everyone around her. I am sad for myself that I no longer have that opportunity to come up North and visit her. If nothing else, heaven has gained a great cocktail maker with a wicked sense of humor.

  4. Renee was and always will be the shining spirit of hope and love to all that were blessed to know and love her! Today, she is dancing with Jesus and smiling and laughing about all the good times she experienced with all of us here! It’s not a “Goodbye” but a “See you later ” time as we will see her beautiful smile and hear her wonderful laugh again someday! My heart and prayers goes out to her wonderful family! Hugs!

  5. I remember Renee as a person with a permanent smile and a strong affection for her family. I know she will be greatly missed, but she will always watch over her family.

  6. My hearts breaks for all of her family and friends for the loss of one amazing women! Know of my prayers for you during this difficult time. Heaven just got brighter❤

  7. I did not know Renee, but I know her sweet friend Pete. His wife and my son Jerry both passed with ALS. Pete was so awesome taking care of his sweet wife. I am happy that he and Renee found each other and found happiness together.

  8. My sincere sympathy to you
    Many fond memories of Renee from our school years one in particular that really stands out is her willingness to help

  9. We loved you from the moment we met you. You had the perfect mix of sparkle, sass, and spice. Our hearts are heavy now, but we will carry the spark you gave us for the years to come.

  10. You were a “1 if a kind,” Renee! So fun, thotful, creative, and persevering. You loved so beautifully and had an attitude of gratitude. Thank you for leaving the world a better place than you found it!💕 I’m so privileged to have known you❤️🌹 Thank you Abbey for showing such love too! ( and Pete💕)

  11. My sympathies to the family of Renee Bernier and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I did not know her but in her picture in Forum, you can truly see the joy in her eyes of many lifelong memories of great family and friends which was also seen in beautiful video of her life. Thank you for sharing these and now I only wish I had known her. Lovingly sent by Tootie Clemenson Huus.

  12. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Renee. I did not know Renee personally only through our mutual friend Jodie. After reading everything and watching your beautiful video it’s very obvious you have an amazing spirit that will continue to live on through all of the family and friends that love you. My brother passed from ALS and he continues to be my rock and inspiration he to had a love of life and an amazing spirit that continues to live on. God bless you all.

  13. She was one of kind. She will be missed by these two Wisconsin friends. Rest in your new body now and may God bless you. We will truly miss you. “You go girl”

  14. Renee was a classmate in high school and such an amazing person. At our 30-year reunion, she had been recently diagnosed with ALS and she had the most positive, upbeat and inspiring attitude towards life. She was such an amazing person. She’s with God now and no doubt still smiling and making everyone around her smile. We’l all miss you.

  15. Renee,

    These past couple days, I (markyd) can’t get your smile out of my vision path since that terrible phone call on Saturday. Renee your smile will be with us forever. When we first met you and Abby back in March of 2017, our world was upside down and it seemed like doom and gloom was the only hope in our future as Miche’ (my bride) was diagnosis with the ALS Monster in Jan 2017. We felt alone, scared, and afraid for what the ALS Monster was going to take away from us tomorrow and days to come, until we entered the ALS Group meeting room at the Dakota Medical Foundation. As I wheeled Miche’ in her transfer chair into the room, you looked at us with that huge smile of HOPE that took away all those negative vibes and for us our friendship started immediately. With that smile you somehow managed to remove that thick, tensed up, gloomy, air we were breathing and filled it with a happy, comforting, “it’s going to be OK”, relief. We could have only wish for an earlier friendship. Listening to all your amazing stories and journeys that you and Abby have conquered with this Monster made us a positive believer in your pride for hope and living life to the fullest. We thank you Renee for putting us at ease, being there, making days happy again, and showing us the better path to take in our new journey in life. Our friendship here on earth went too quick and we will forever cherish our time we had together. We are going to strive and continue to walk our journey with your can-do, adventurous, sparky attitude and not to forget your words of promise, “Next time, it’s my turn to buy” after every ALS meeting, I will salute our friendship with a shot of Jack Daniels until we meet again my friend.

    Rest in Peace Renee.

  16. Ken, Patty and family we are so sorry for your loss. We can hardly imagine your heartache.
    ” Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal .
    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this most difficult time.🙏🙏

  17. I loved Renee and will miss her upbeat personality. I feel bad being out of state during her celebration of life. Hugs to all of you that knew and loved her.

  18. Sadly, I never got the chance to meet Renee, but I know, through Pete, what a loving and beautiful soul she was. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  19. It seems like just yesterday that you and I were sitting at Okellys drinking red beer and venting about the JOB! Our laughter, our talks will always be remembered, I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you as our health both deteriorated around the same time, I feel your spirit I feel your soul, with no more pain, may you fly free and happy! I thank you for being a part of my life I know that I will see you again, love you my beautiful Friend with all my heart, Albey

  20. Ken ,Patty and family. We are so very sorry for your loss.We can hardly imagine your heartache. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.
    ” death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal ”

  21. Renee’s family and especially Abby, We extend our sympathy on the loss of this wonderful women. She was always so gracious at the ALS Support Group, and all the words expressed in the obituary would echo our feelings in the short time that we knew Renee. Cherish the memories. God’s blessing… Jerry and Barb Ahlberg

  22. Meeting Renee and getting to know her these last few months has been one of life’s happiest times. She made me want to be my best self. Now I am blessed with being welcomed into the warmth and love of Renee’s beautiful family and her huge circle of friends. Thank you, God, for Renee. May we all continue to feel her love.

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