Jerelean “Jerri” Rang died unexpectedly on Wednesday afternoon, August 19, 2020 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. At midnight Jerri had gone outside to look at the stars; she fell and died fifteen hours later.
Jerri was born on June 27, 1939 to Esther and Walter Krehbiel in Halstead, Kansas. She was raised in the Mennonite faith until the family moved to Rosalia, Kansas, where they joined the Methodist church. She excelled in academics and athletics in Rosalia. She was a star pitcher and once scored 44 points in a basketball game. She began piano lessons in grade school and soon was performing in church.
Jerri studied English and music at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. She earned an MA in English Education at UW-Madison, where she also studied piano performance and met her future husband.
After her marriage to Chuck Rang in 1967, Jerri taught English in Charlottesville, Virginia, and continued piano studies in Murray, Kentucky, where she gave birth to a son and daughter. Later she studied organ performance with Kathryn Moen at UW-RF. She taught piano for fifty years and still had a select handful of students when she died.
Jerri loved playing the piano and organ, reading, doing puzzles and playing bridge. She was proud of preserving Mennonite recipes and cooking meals based on recipes from friends or relatives. She also loved walking the trails at the family cabin, canoeing, fishing and bicycling.
Her parents taught her not to waste food or to throw away clothing until it could no longer be patched. When a pair of Chuck’s walking shorts consisted of patches on patches on patches, she said, “I think Mom would tell me to throw these out.”
She was also taught to serve others. Until she retired from teaching piano, she was active in the St. Croix Valley Music Teachers Association. She served on the boards of the New Richmond Fine Arts Council and Friends of the Friday Memorial Library, multiple committees in her church and was coordinator of the United Methodist Book Club.
Her friends and family members remember her talent on the piano and organ and her cheerfulness, humility, kindness and generosity. Her husband remembers her patience and the love she shared with everybody she encountered.
Survivors include a brother, Theron Krehbiel, of Medicine Lodge, KS; husband, Chuck; son, Anton; daughter-in-law, Irma; granddaughter Lydia; grandsons Edwin and Will and Will’s mother, Mary Rang, plus cousins, sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. Her parents, two brothers, Merle and Verle Krehbiel, and a daughter, Jocelyn, preceded her in death.
A Memorial Service was held Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:00 am at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Jerri’s service was streamed via a link on the Bakken-Young web site. Visitation took place on Friday, September 18, 2020 from 4-7 PM at Bakken-Young and from 10-11 AM before the service. All guests are requested to wear a mask and practice physical distancing. Interment was in the New Richmond Cemetery.
In place of flowers, memorials may be made to Doctors Without Borders or the New Richmond United Methodist Church.