Angela Marie Runningen
Angela was born in Lacrosse, WI on June 7, 1980. I remember the day she was born—the only girl in a nursery full of boys. What a gift she was! Her childhood was made up of Barbie dolls and imaginary friends. Angela was truly a “free spirit.” Throughout grade school she enjoyed being with her friends. She had leadership qualities, along with a strong faith in God.
Angela participated in 4-H, gymnastics, cheerleading, Student Council and the National Honor Society, and many other activities. She looked forward to her high school years; they were filled with so much fun and excitement. Angela had a gift of always finding time for things that were the most important to her, especially her family and friends.
Upon graduation Angela was filled with excitement about her new venture: college in Eau Claire. The day before she died, we spent at Eau Claire for college orientation. I wish you could have seen the sparkle in her eyes. This was her big day! The next day changed all of our lives forever.
Angela's plans were to go out to dinner Saturday night with a classmate, Lorelei Schultz. They left the Olive Garden restaurant discussing plans they had for the future without knowing what lie ahead. As they headed back to Caledonia, MN, a man and his wife were coming back from an entire day of partying; the driver swerved, going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, ending Angela's life forever. Officers found two open cans of beer in the car along with drugs and drug paraphernalia. The driver's blood alcohol concentration was 0.14.
Angela died instantly, along with the driver. Her friend, Lorelei, died three days later. The man's wife left the scene with minor injuries.
At the age of 18, our daughter did the right thing; she was driving on the road sober. The driver of the other vehicle had a previous DUI and should not have been driving. Our family has changed greatly since the crash. I do not think a drunk driver realizes disastrous consequences when they are on the road drunk.
Our daughter, Angela, cannot come home now because of the actions of another driver. Our surviving daughter, Laura, will not be able to be maid of honor in her sister's wedding and vice versa. Our son, Kyle, will not be able to spend days at Bible School with Angela. As a mom I will miss out on all the great hugs, advice and companionship of a beautiful human being. Angela's father will not be able to share any more good times with his daughter either. As you can see, we now can only live one day at a time and pray that God is taking good care of our beloved Angela.
Angela will be greatly missed. Her smile is the first thing a person would notice. She radiated love, joy, enthusiasm for life, and a readiness for adventure. She did not let life happen to her, she embraced it and made a difference. Those who knew Angela were enriched by knowing her and her love.
We love you and miss you Angela!
Mom, Dad, Laura and Kyle