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Renee G. Pieper

Posted By Ballard Sunder Funeral Home On March 23, 2021 @ 4:14 pm In 2021,Obituaries | 11 Comments

WEB Renee

Renée Marigayle Pieper, of Prior Lake, MN (formerly of Bloomington and Minneapolis) passed away on the morning of March 22, 2021 at age 87.

A child of the Great Depression, Renée grew up in working class South Minneapolis. Born on October 16, 1933 to Italian immigrant Giocondo “Joe” Grazzini and American Luella Mildred Johnston, “Marigayle” oscillated between deep Tuscan roots and Minnesota Nice.

The youngest of three children, she and her brothers helped their dad in his second job maintaining the Church. She and brother Ron typed and printed the church bulletin. An aspiring soprano, she sang in the church choir and fed on Handel and Mendelssohn oratorios and gospel hymns.

As pictures reveal Renee grew into a beautiful young lady, full of life and spirit she was often referred to as “Mardi Gras” in her Roosevelt high school yearbook.  After graduation in 1951, she took on a bella figura appearance, dressing smart and acting it too. Renee as a young lady traveled to New York with her best friends and also Trips to Chicago with sister in-law Gerry Grazzini.

Social to the bone, Renée worked at the University of Minnesota. She faced tragedy during this time, as both parents passed away in an 11-month span: mother in February 1953 followed by father. Cupid struck soon after. Bill Pieper, a family friend just finished serving in the U.S. Air Force swept Marigayle off her feet. The young Minneapolitans married in summer 1955.

Armed with some savings, a grain of hope and baby boy Matthew in tow, they built their first and only home in Bloomington, MN. Blessed with four sons and a perfectionist streak, she focused on household life – spotless floors and incredible cooking—Her Swedish meatballs were our favorite. She reveled in all things Christmas: Santa cookies, strawberry punch (a recipe that has been hard to recreate) and especially all the children opening gifts–Renee loved to entertain with all her family especially at all the Holidays.

Things were looking up when Bill’s retirement came in 1995. They took every chance to visit grandkids or inviting them to the family Camper at Kamp Dells. The post-retirement renaissance proved short-lived when he passed in 2000.

After health scares and growing social isolation without Bill, she moved to Keystone Communities/New Perspective Senior Living in Prior Lake. Closer to son John and his extended family, Renée’s life flipped from sad to glad. Staff at her new home became second family, giving her a rhythm, coffee and dinner with new friends as well as “peecha peecha”– Renée-speak for chitchat. She even was granted to be the“Queen of Keystone with all its rights and privileges and wearing her crown. She even mustered courage to visit her son living in France and her relatives in Florence, Italy.

Renee was a fighter to the day she passed, 2 hip replacements, beating breast cancer, navigating through life with challenging emotional issues and the last 3 years her memory had slowly faded but through these challenge’s Renée always kept her wit and sense of humor. All those she touched will never forget we will miss her deeply.

A special THANK YOU to all those who cared and touched our mothers’ heart at Keystone/New Perspective for over 16 years…. Also, a special thank you to Brighton Hospice who cared for mother this past Covid year.  We will miss our facetime conversations or in Renee’s words “peecha peecha”.

Brother Ronald Grazzini and sister-in-law Gerri Grazzini survives. So too her four sons, Mathew (Deb), John (Katie), James (Blandine) and David; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She joins in death loved ones already mentioned as well as brother Roger Grazzini and sisters-in-law, Myrna Grazzini and Diana Pieper.

A reviewal will occur on Monday, March 29 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation (4565 Pleasant Street SE) in Prior Lake. A funeral will be held Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 11:00 AM with visitation one-hour prior at St. Michaels Catholic Church in Prior Lake.  Family or friends who cannot attend in-person are invited to stream the service via Mass can be streamed by visiting St. Michael’s website: https://stmichael-pl.org/. Renée will be laid to rest at Dawn Valley Memorial Park in Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to be distributed to charities in Renée’s name.

Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation proudly serves the Pieper family.

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Condolences for the family of “Renee G. Pieper”

Condolence from Jim & Sherry Strauss on March 24th, 2021 10:50 am

Matt, John, James, David our sincere sympathy to you all and to your wives and children in the loss of your mother, Renee’. She was such a joy to know. Her sense of humor and her gift of laughter will always be remembered by us.
May she Rest In Peace.
Jim & Sherry

Condolence from Dianna Colucci on March 24th, 2021 3:18 pm

Sending healing prayers to all of Renee’s family. I helped care for her. Renee was one of my favorites. We talked often and she always made me Smile. RIP Renee
Your Friend Always, Dianna

Condolence from Alson Toavs on March 24th, 2021 6:05 pm

Always hard to say goodbye to Mom. Celebrate her life and remember the good times and the ways she influenced and encouraged your life

Condolence from Barbara calvani on March 25th, 2021 4:59 am

Sending my condolences from Italy, my mom was Renee’s first cousin. We are all sad for her, she was a great woman as we learned to know her during her trips to Italy, to my place too.
We’ ll always bring her into our hearts ♥️
Barbara and family

Condolence from Famille Ponson on March 25th, 2021 2:11 pm

Sending our condolences from France. Remenber her visit in Charmes sur Rhône few years ago.

Anne, Jacques, Pauline et Mathilde Ponson

Condolence from Tom Haugh on March 25th, 2021 2:48 pm

So sorry to hear of Renee’s passing, she was a very good friend to both my Mom & Dad, Rolly & Jeanette Haugh. As well as myself, I sat & visited with Renee daily when I would go to Keystone to see my parents. She always had a smile & we would have a little chuckle about something everytime I was there. What a nice friendly Lady your Mom was. My Dad enjoyed her company as well. Our thoughts & prayers are with you at this time. Tom, Mary & Rachel.

Condolence from Emmie Schweitzer on March 27th, 2021 1:48 am

I’m forever grateful for the time I got to spend with Renee at the home. Wether we were making jokes about my hair that looks like a “weird kind of birds nest” or making sure we had her blush and lipstick correct every morning. She was the one person that could lighten my work day. Sending so much love to your family ❤️

Condolence from New Perspective Prior Lake Community on March 27th, 2021 10:53 am

Matt, John, James , David & Family-

You all are in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Renee will always have a special place in all of our hearts here at New Perspective. Caring for her over the last 16 years was nothing but amazing. She will be truly missed.

New Perspective Staff

Condolence from Jacquie Enger on March 28th, 2021 10:31 pm

I had just talked about Renee,wondering how she was,so I was sorry to see she had just passed.I remember Renee fondly when I worked at Keystone 7 years ago.Always a smile on her face,and so many great conversations with her,I still have a picture of her dressed up like a witch for Halloween,a pretty witch at that! I will always remember her,and feel lucky we crossed paths in our lifetimes.She was very special.My sincere condolences to the family

Condolence from Kari & Greg Cardelli on March 29th, 2021 6:51 pm

I have fond memories going with my family to Marigayle and Bills home for holidays, etc. Marigayle made it so warm & inviting! The food was great as was playing with Matt and his brothers.
Now as an adult Marigayle came to our house to celebrate family anniversaries and birthdays.
She will be cherished and lovingly missed.
Kari & Greg

Condolence from Laura on March 30th, 2021 10:20 am

I spent time visiting with your mom when my mom what at New Perspective. She always had a way to make me laugh on those days that seemed the hardest. She was a wonderful woman and I will forever remember her with great fondness. God bless you all as you go through this difficult time and hang on to those wonderful memories that I know you all have. She loved you all!

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