RENEE ANN BELLINGHAM
February 27, 1939 December 16, 2020
Renee Ann Bellingham, age 81, of Colorado Springs, Colo., in her sequined black hat with joy in her heart, joined the Church triumphant on December 16, 2020, following a gentle 10-year decline caused by Alzheimer's disease.
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Renee was born on February 27, 1939, in Duluth, Minn., the fourth child born to Wayne and Ernestine McGrew. She met William (Bill) Bellingham at a church youth group sledding event and they married in 1959, moving to Colo. soon thereafter. She and Bill celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2019. Above all things, she valued sharing her Christian faith with her two children, while prioritizing responsibility and learning-especially swim and piano lessons.
To people who knew her well, she was a loving friend, a creative woman, and a joyful and encouraging presence. The older she grew, the happier she became, telling people they were doing a good job, thanking them, and lighting up the room with her smile. Renee remembered with her heart right up to the end, and as a result all was not lost. Her love bridged the losses.
Renee was a hard worker. She acquired a degree as a laboratory microbiology technician after high school graduation and she spent her adulthood working in various clinics and hospitals, the bulk of those years at a bench in the laboratory at Penrose St. Francis Hospital. She was proud of her work and her coworkers.
A lifetime member of First Presbyterian Church, Renee participated in the choir and the Pathfinders Sunday school class, two joys she relished as long as she was able.
Renee had many creative pursuits throughout her life. She spent time gardening, cooking, canning, was a gifted ceramic artist and a capable seamstress. She was an animal lover and she enjoyed hiking and long drives in the mountains. She was known in later years for the sequined and bright hats she would wear. After retirement from the laboratory she was finally able to pursue her childhood wish...to be an Avon Lady. She loved that job!
She began to show signs of cognitive changes late in her sixth decade and eventually was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Slowly she remembered less, but grew sweeter and sweeter by the year. She enjoyed her grandchildren and long drives with Bill and her dogs during this season. Bill provided more of her care each year, and when it became impossible for him to do so on his own, he lovingly, but with a heavy heart, placed her in the care of the amazing staff at Solange at Appletree assisted living. She lived at the Appletree facility for two years and became know by co-residents as a beautiful, happy lady and was deeply loved by caregivers.
The family wishes to thank Kristel for bringing Renee into his Solange facility, Diana for faithfully watching over her, Jaritza and her crew for bringing the love and the spice, and the residents for giving her a last chapter where she belonged and was beloved. Additionally, the family expresses a debt of gratitude to New Century Hospice for Renee's loving long-term palliative care, especially to her nurse Mary, her social worker Agatha, and her chaplain Nita-all of whom without we couldn't have made the journey. Renee is survived by her son William Keith Bellingham, and grandchildren Aaron (Jennifer) Bellingham, Hope (Ian) Havens and great-grandson Oakland, and Olivia Bellingham; and her daughter Katie (Tad) Wisenor, and grandchildren Samuel and Hazel Wisenor; sisters Mary Lou Christensen, Char Patchett, nephews, nieces, the extended Bellingham family, and her dear friend Barbara. She is preceded in death by her husband, William Edwin Bellingham, her parents, her siblings Robert, Barbara, and Edwin, and her precious grandson, William Clifton Bellingham.
Memorial to be held Summer 2021; details to be announced.