Rene Rangel Jr.

Published 2:21 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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March 15, 1964-March 3, 2023


René Rangel, Jr., 58, lost his life tragically on Friday, March 3, 2023, while working in Lawrence, MI. He was born March 15, 1964, in San Juan, TX to René Rangel, Sr. and Elida (Hernandez) Goens.
The family will be having a Celebration of Life service at 12 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Decatur VFW, 560 N. Phelps St., Decatur, MI. Memorial contributions may be given to the Jordan Thomas Foundation, an organization helping kids get the prostheses they need to lead healthy and active lives, or 9005 Overlook Blvd, #742, Brentwood, TN 37027. You can also donate to Cass County Parks & Recreation – Lawless Park, 120 N. Broadway St., Ste 200, Cassopolis, MI 49031. Those wishing to leave an online condolence for the family may do so at
René moved to Decatur, MI at the age of three, and was a graduate of Decatur High School class of 1982. He was a very hard worker. He was employed at Klett Construction asphalt paving company at the age of 18. He then became self-employed as the owner/operator of Oil Can Alley quick oil change in Dowagiac, MI from 1990 to 2022, and owned/operated Big Country Trucking for several years, hauling asphalt and aggregates for various road construction contractors. After selling his Oil Can Alley business, René began his new career with the Van Buren County Road Commission as a Road Maintenance Employee (RME); a career that he was excited to return to with the guys and on the road.
René experienced tragedy early in life, losing his arm at the age of 19. He didn’t let that hold him back. Even with his prosthetic arm, he could out-drive almost anyone in any kind of vehicle, whether it be a semi-truck, dump truck, pick-up, snowmobile, or mountain bike; he was always up for the challenge and every thrill life had to offer.
René enjoyed spending time with friends and family. He looked forward to his annual trips to Key West, fishing trips to Port Clinton, OH, snowmobiling excursions with friends, mountain biking local trails, family tamale making day, family cookouts and dinners with the traditional following of playing Loteria, (Mexican Bingo). René was a great cook! Friends and family loved eating the food he prepared, such as his BBQ ribs, walleye fish fry, home-made chicken noodle soup, and chicken tamales were always a great treat. He loved spending time in his man cave garage watching formula one racing and cooking shows. If you stopped by his man cave, you were always offered a libation of some sort or another from his fully stocked fridge.
René is survived by his long-time fiancée, Stacey Hollenbeck; his mother, Elida (Howard) Goens; his sisters, Beatrice Rangel, Norma Rangel Love, Rose (Dave McKay) Rangel, and Crystal Rangel; his nieces, Stephanie, Sarah, Tara; his nephews, Jesse, and Lucas; and his great nieces and great nephew. He is preceded in death by his father, René Rangel, Sr.; and his brother, Frank Rangel.