Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dreams and smiles

Kristen and i found ourselves very emotional today as we read some of the stories you have all shared about our Rene. We have so many memories, moments and periods in our lives where she has impacted and guided us; our wedding, my graduation, the birth of our 2 children, and helping paint our first home to name a few. Today we realized that in everyone of those moments she was somehow able to make us smile, even in the hard times. But today we also realize that Rene is always in our hearts, has a hand on our shoulder or passes a word of advice, encouragement and insight in our dreams, and experiences. She has always been there, and will continue to influence not only us, but our friends and children for many many years.

Her heart is as big as it ever was, and it seems even with the cancer trying to push it out of the way her wit, smiles, love and caring soul prevails. She is fighting for every moment now, her mind fast outliving the body god gave her for her time on earth. We cannot fight back tears, as we pray for her and our family.

we love you Rene


  1. Rene,
    I am praying for you. I miss you and wish I could give a huge hug as you have given to me so many times. Listen to the sounds around you and feel the love of everyone. You are so loved! We think of you every minute of every day.
    Les and Gregg

  2. Dear Rene,

    Steve and I are praying that at this moment you can feel ALL the love from everyone that you have touched in your life! You are truly an amazing person, Rene, and we have so many wonderful memories of times we spent together. We are sending you loving hugs right now - you always hold a special place in our hearts. We love you!

    God bless you and grant you beautiful peace.

    Lisa and Steve Smith

  3. Dear Rene,

    Sending you much love and hugs from the east coast. You are in our constant thoughts and prayers.

    much love,
    Sarah, Kurt, and Cora

  4. Rene,

    You gave Stephany her first day camp adventure at Camp Metro 15 years ago. Today she returns those adventures to other girls at Skylark Ranch. Jennifer too, was your shadow her first week at Camp Metro, and is now applying what you taught her to campers at the YMCA. Both girls as I have you in our thoughts during these days. You will be in our hearts for always.

    Hindy, Jennifer & Stephany Ganeles

  5. Rene,
    I have such clear memories of our first meeting 31 years ago at Bill & Pams. We have had many years of laughter with you and your loving family. I remember your 21st birthday when the Pabst's and us took you to Tahoe to gamble and have your 1st legal drink,,, You words after having a shot YUCK! let go to the Casino's. You were here for us when the girls were born. I remember when you saw Christopher at Brunner's for the first time and we had to keep going back there looking at furniture and getting stain to fix scratches in my furniture that were only in your mind. I love you and you have brought so much joy and love to our family and the world around us.We continue to keep you in our prayers and you will always be in our hearts. Love you

    Janis, Brad , Jenna & Jessica

  6. Dear Rene,

    I rejoice that you soon will be with God. You won the great race that we are all are striving for. You will be with God forever!!! Kiss Jim for me. I know he is waiting for you. My tears fall freely for I will miss you. Such happy fun times at the Girl Scouts. I love you, Sharon

  7. Dear Rene -

    You have always been an amazing 4th sister to us Hunt girls. We so love you and your spirit. I can only image how excited heaven will be to greet you. I will miss you, your smiling face and your hugs. Rest in God's hands.

    You're in our prayers - Jill, Steven, Shelby & Jarred

  8. Dear Rene -

    You have always been an amazing 4th sister to us Hunt girls. We so love you and your spirit. I can only image how excited heaven will be to greet you. I will miss you, your smiling face and your hugs. Rest in God's hands.

    You're in our prayers - Jill, Steven, Shelby & Jarred

  9. Rene, Christopher and Family:

    My memories of Rene start over 20 years ago. Wow. Time has flown.

    I met this super bubbly young woman at the Girl Scout office. What I remember about you was that you were extremely supportive of my Mother. The two of you became great friends. Then with time and her signature Lipiani love you became one of two official 5th Hunt Girls – officially adopted. Knowing you, you’ve got the same relationship with other families too. I remember how little Dylan and Tanner thought their Auntie Rene was so cool, creative and caring.

    Things will always remember about you…
    • Signature… “Hello, Julie Hunt!” in that always very excited to see me voice.
    • Your Hugs
    • The way Chris loves you
    • Commenting on the male Russian bathingsuit choices at the PML lake
    • Soft serve ice cream
    • Jenny’s bridal shower at your mom’s house. That was just so nice.
    • You always accepted and supported me. HUGE!

    I love you! I’m so grateful that I’ve had the chance to know you. This is so strange having to say Goodbye. There is something not right about it, but at the same time I can’t let the opportunity pass by.

    May God Welcome you with open arms… heal you of your pain, and set you free! Our world will greatly feel your loss – Heaven will be made a better place! God Bless you! I love you!!

    -Julie Hunt

  10. All of us here at work are holding you in our thoughts and prayers. Please know how much you will be missed and what a great impression you left on our community here at ND. Your spirit lives on baby!!

  11. Rene,

    I'm so sorry that God (although she is very wise, I'm sure) has chosen to bring you to Heaven so soon. It doesn't seem fair to those of us who will miss you very much, but I realize there must be some plan for you that I cannot see or understand. You, Chris and the "condo gang" were truly our "first" official friends as a married couple and we were lucky (Thanks, Schwirzke's) to have the opportunity to know you. When I found out you were resting at home I said, "How is she going to get any rest? She has more close friends than anyone I will be like Disneyland over there-there are SO many people who love Rene" but I'm glad to see now that you're surrounded by your family.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to say good-bye to Mark, Morgan & Nathan. They are all doing well. Mark still drives a big green truck with bright yellow "Granite" on it. Nathan is 100% boy who doesn't stop talking from 7am to 8:30p: He loves baseball & soccer (mostly because daddy is coaching) and calls himself, "Mr. Strong Man". Morgan is getting ready for her 3rd Circus Performance this summer and has gotten so strong you can actually see her upper body muscles increasing almost on a daily basis; she still loves to sit on the couch and cuddle with her mama.

    Marty and Dick know that you're sick and will miss you, too. They are still active grandparents and use a lot of energy running after Nathan

    Los Gatos Eye Care will miss it's VERY FIRST employee. Thank you for EVERYTHING you contributed and for helping me to fulfill my dream of having my own practice!!

    We are ALL thinking of you and will miss you SOOOOOOO much. You are an AMAZING lady and we're HONORED to have known you!!!

    Ilene, Mark, Morgan, Nathan Polhemus and Richard & Marty Johnson and Los Gatos Eye Care

  12. Rene,

    My Dad came to me in a dream two nights ago. He had not visited me for quite a while. He greeted me with a huge hug and held me close for so long. I did not want to let go. I woke up in the morning with such joy knowing that he is really not far from me. His spirit continues to live within me.

    Your spirit will continue to live within everyone you have loved and touched. You will not be far from us and we will be together again. Thank God for opening heavens gates for Rene!

    Much love!
    Jenny Javier

  13. Dearest Rene,
    Seated beside you the other day, I was honored to share with you those moments of quiet. My words cannot express how precious you are, but know that you are for me a treasured friend and my constant partner in NDSJ's good work.

    My prayer for you continues to be God's peace...The warmth of today's sun reminds me of you and if I could sit beside you again today I would sing this song of blessing...from one Irish woman to her Italian friend.

    May the sun shine always on your face...

    Blessings and love,

  14. Dear Rene, You have been such an important influence in both my and my daughter, Beth's lives. You helped get me hooked on Relay For my wonderful obsession. Then you changed the world for her at Notre Dame. Not just pulling her name for the trip to Hawaii but in allowing her to discover just how much change in the world she and her friends can make. Those girls have become even more amazing women and were touched in incredible ways by your gentle encouragement and guidance. Peace and love,
    -- Mary Keenan

  15. Rene,
    Thank you for being the happy person that I was able to work with for awhile and for being the person who showed my daughter that GS Camp was a safe and fun place to be. Every time we talked I walked away with a smile. It's the people who create the quiet ripples in our lives that make a difference. I wish you peace and love. Rebecca Baeza

  16. My Dear Friend Rene,

    I am so very saddened to hear that your vibrant spirit is slowly slipping away. My heart is breaking and I can't even imagen what Christopher, and your family must be feeling.

    I Thank God that I was able to leave you this note as it has been a very long time since we last spoke. I will pray for your family.

    Rene you will be missed greatly within my heart.

    Forever Friends, Petra Ramirez and Family

  17. Rene -

    Reading these past posts and stories, it shows how many lives you have touched and I am so glad that I was one of them.

    When we met at SJV, I'm sure I was just another chatty 4th grader to you. To me, you were the greatest. You were funny and so nice to everyone. P.E. was everyone's favorite class - because of you. I was new at SJV but you made me feel like an old friend. You taught me about sports and more importantly, about teamwork and friendship.

    I am so fortunate that you passed through my life at a time when I needed a smile. I will always miss your hugs and that wonderful laugh of yours.

    I'm sure you will light up (and shake up) Heaven...You are an amazing person and I'll never forget you.

    Peace to you and your family.

    Love, Lucinda Mendoza (SJV Class of 83).

  18. Dear Ms. Lepiane,
    i am praying for you and your family, know that you ave truly impacted me during my time at Notre Dame and will always remember you fondly as the warm and loving person you are. i will miss you and hold a special place for you in my heart.
    - Eileen Reyes '11

  19. Hi Rene,
    I took Natalie and Sophie to Great America today for Sophie's birthday celebration. I thought of the time you took me and Natalie for a Girl Scout outing to Great America to see Scooby Doo! I think maybe Natalie was about 2 years old. We had such a great time. Natalie just told me to remind you the first time she saw Sound of Music was with you at your house and she wanted you to know how much she enjoyed it. She also loved petting the cat with those "bumpy" gloves you had. We're thinking of you! Love you!! Vicki, Martin and Natalie

  20. Dearest Mrs. Lepiane (and to her family),

    I'm not sure if you remember me, but it's Janet from the Class of 2007. I just want you to know how much you meant to me in my last year @ Notre Dame--how you always let me into the ASB office just to grab candy, how you always met my not-always-welcome presence with a smile, how you ALWAYS let me rant about my random thoughts...Although I only knew you for a year, you made quite the difference in my life, and I have tears in my eyes reading through this blog which I just discovered today...I had no idea about any of this until I found a link on Tiffany Nguyen's blog.

    I love you and I'm sending positive vibes your way. I hope you can imagine me giving you one big hug and a sing-song "HIIIII MRS. LEPIANEEEEEE!"

    Love always, Janet Anne Lee Panen

  21. Auntie Rene,

    Do you remember the park? Many year ago you took dylan, tanner, jarred and i to the airplane park at night... it is one of the best memories i have growing up and my summers in california. We sat in the train and you told us stories and jokes, then we all went into the carousel (which we weren't supposed to be there) but you really wanted us to have a chance to ride it. and do you remember what happened next? We couldn't get the motor to turn on, so you lead all the adults to start pushing. I remember it so well, that was the best carousel ride i have ever had and i owe it to you.

    You are a truly amazing person and a good 4th sister to the hunt girls (my mom). Say hi to grandpa jim for me... i know you will be partyin it up with him! I love you <3

  22. Hi Ms. Lepiane!

    I don't know you on a personal level like some of the other students do, but you inspire me to be the leader I hope to be one day. Whenever I come into your office to buy a mixer ticket or anything else, you always had a way of making me laugh, smile, and brighten my day. I would walk out of that room and think, "Man, I love that woman :)" Ms. Lepiane you will NEVER be forgotten and you will ALWAYS be in my prayers. You're the best! <3

    Danielle Tran, '12

  23. Dear Ms. Lepiane,

    I don't know you on a personal level either because I was a freshman this year, but I always remember walking into your office for free dress on those groggy Friday mornings, or to stop by and ask for blue tape because it was someone's birthday. You would always have that smile and that laugh that was so contagious. I never walked out of that room sad or disappointed or anything, always happy and content. I remember the first time I walked into your office, I was scared because being a freshman, everything was still so new to me. But you were so nice and helpful that I walked out that day, knowing I could always go back in there and not be intimidated, that I would be comfortable. You're in my prayers forever and always.

    Catherine Ballesteros '13

  24. Dear Rene and Family,
    Are thoughts and prayers are with you constantly. We know this is a very sad time but rejoice that you will be in heaven soon and free of your illness. We remember all of the fun times our families shared together, like dancing and laughing to the B-52's 'Love Shack' on New Year's Eve - playing it over and over because the girls wouldn't leave you two alone, or spending a glorious sunny day after another New Year's Eve driving Highway One and stopping at so many places along the ocean to go tide pooling, climbing the lighthouses, shopping in fun little stores...or sailing on the ocean looking for whales...or hunting through the sand dunes looking for shark's teeth...dinners at the Ranch....BBQ's at our home...and what about your Bachlorette party - was that a hoot! Especially the scavenger hunt...and so many will always be in our heart. We love you!
    Mark, Cheryl, Stephanie & Nicole

  25. Dear Rene,
    I read once that life is like a tapestry and we are all individual strands being woven in different directions crossing other strands to create the materpiece of life. That has always resonated with me. We may not always know why we are here but when our work is done we return to the greater spirit knowing that everything is connected. We are all part of the earth, the sky, the air and each other's lives in some way. It is clear from reading the posts that you have touched so many lives in loving and caring ways and we are all blessed for that. Peace to you, Christopher and all your family.

    Sari V.