On July 30, 2016, Angela Rensch Ligibel passed away. She was loved by her family and countless friends, many of whom are fellow Clark Lakers.
On this Tribute page, you’ll find her obituary, two tributes, and this commemoration that took place on Sunday, September 4th.
Angela’s birthday was in early September. It was traditionally a time for a large celebration at the Ligibel cottage on Eagle Point. On this first September after her passing, friends and family gathered again; this time to commemorate her life. Her family understood how she would react if she knew of this event–she would say “for me?” Her family knew how enthusiastically she embraced life, how much she enjoyed living, and how she spread joy to those around her. Angela cherished sunsets at Clark Lake and she loved being on the lake. So on this evening, several rafts, filled with those who loved her, gathered to view the sunset and remember all the wonderful things she brought into their lives. Here are some photos of the event.
Below are two tributes. The first one is a poem written by Jamie Dandar McKinney for her grandmother. Jamie read it to her a few weeks before Nana’s passing. Because it was so fitting, Jamie read it aloud again–and this time, to family and friends at Angela’s memorial service on August 3rd at Blessed Sacrament Church in Toledo.
Following Jamie’s poem is a tribute written by Tucker Boyers. Angela loved Raft-O-Rama and joined Boyers and others on their entry each year. Tucker explains how Angela acquired the name, “Birdie,” in his tribute. Finally you’ll find the obituary written by Ted Ligibel on behalf of the family.
by Jamie Dandar McKinney
To the one whom we love so much,
The one who taught me how to rhyme and such!
You’re a legend among your many friends and you have not a single foe.
I smile so proudly. That’s my Nana, you know!
The oldest of three daughters, that’s me too,
The matriarch of this family, you’re the reason for this fun-loving and crazy crew.
Paddling like the Indians, walking on Eagle Point Road,
Hearing the crickets at night and the ribbit of the toad.
Ice cream from Friendly’s, finding pennies on the sidewalk in front of DeVeaux.
Sharing tips about knitting and showing me how to sew.
An amazing artist, who sent me a card at Ohio State EVERY single week,
Always classy, well-read and engaging, never mild or meek.
Ya-vol!!! You would shout while in Germany on the bus,
Zipping across the globe without any fuss!
The smell of fresh baked bread at the Flavor Fruit Farm,
Always the life of the party with your wisdom and charm!
Flirting or being friendly, it’s hard to say.
Well it’s Nana who showed me the ropes, either way!
Ping-pong in the basement, piano in the playroom,
Watching fireworks from the dock and waiting for the big boom!
Standing in the street window, counting cordials down at the store,
Nana taught me about inventory reports when I was only four!
Fresh mint to go with iced tea on the back porch and watering the flowers,
Hopscotch on the driveway and hula-hooping for hours!
Pictures on the refrigerator, the Valley View sign,
You must wear a shirt if you want to sit at this table and dine!
The power of positive thinking and mind over matter,
The Snoopy Snow Cone machine and letting us lick the cake batter.
The spirit of Santa, chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Anise cookies, stockings, the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
Driving on the Wee Road, picking up pizza from the Beach Bar,
No matter how many miles were between us I never felt far.
You cheer me up when I’m feeling down or in a funk,
And who doesn’t smile thinking of ‘Holy Moses hold your noses here comes baby skunk!’
Sharing secrets about Halloween costumes down to the detail of our belt,
Would this year’s selection be made of satin, cotton, or perhaps even felt?
Coming to so many softball games, school events, and theater plays,
Making my costume for Peter Pan. That was one of the best days.
So many cards, books, stories and poems that were written,
And who could forget the spirited summer phrase, ‘That damn Cal Pitman!’
Rocking in the chairs on the front porch at the lake,
The flapjack cookies that you would often bake.
The blue tin cup and the cold of the spring,
Your light, your love, your energy you would just always bring.
Playing coy while standing on the bridge with Papa and dangling your shoe,
It fell to the river below and it’s one of my favorite stories about you.
The lamb made out of butter, the holiday table always set so festively and nice,
I don’t use pronouns at the table because of your advice!
Markers, paint, scissors and glue,
Homemade Valentine’s to say I love you!
The Barbie game, Cross over the Bridge and a good round of Taboo,
So many things I wouldn’t know, Nana, if it weren’t for you!
Talking about God and the Virgin Mary and the prayers we say,
I am beyond grateful for you each and every day.
St. Rita church services were the best with Fr. Jim.
He knew how to say those sermons fast so that we could get back and swim!
Remember our road trip to Chicago to meet baby Hailey?
What wonderful quality time that was for you and me!
The Jimmy Buffett show in Columbus in 1997. You were there.
I loved hearing my friends say, “That’s your GRANDMA, who’s chugging a beer?!”
Jumping off the raft and practicing our dives,
Nana and I have a ball gossiping about the happenings in our lives.
No matter how hard the rain or dark the sky, the sun comes out,
While most would be skeptical our Nana never had a doubt!
Gin and Tonic, Chivas, a Bud Light and even some wine,
The precedent was set for the family I’m so proud to call mine!
For making anyone near you feel special, you have such a knack,
And who didn’t love being on the receiving end of a good Nana smack?!
Hands always clapping, the dances you would do,
Nana we were all so lucky to simply be around you.
When you hear the whistle of a train or a ship horn blow,
Well, we all know how crazy you go!
Nana is just simply THE BEST. We all know it through and through.
You’re our favorite Nana and WE WILL FOREVER AND ALWAYS LOVE YOU.
You Are Angela, Mother, Nana and “OUR BIRDIE!”
By Tucker Boyers
In my first glimpse of her, she was standing up riding in the back of a jeep going down South Woodlands Drive. “Wow, who was that?” I found out it was Mrs. Ligibel. I remember the day we were introduced. I asked her daughter, Beckey, “what should I call your Mom–Mrs. Ligibel?” She replied “I don’t know, call her ‘Birdie’!” At least that’s how I remember it!
So that’s how Angela, Mom, and Nana was now Clark Lake’s Birdie.
Over the years she became very near and dear to Tricia, me, and the Boyers family. We shared many memories with her. My boys Bret and Riley felt as if she was also their Nana. The many dinners we had on our deck were not complete without our Birdie! Late night raft rides were the best. Birdie would raise both arms and howl at the moon! Through the years, she was the many Raft-O-Rama floats, and that was truly special. We’d tell her “if you want to get off at any time let us know,” and of course, her reply was,” why would I do that?”
Several days after many of those fine moments we’d receive a thank-you note from our Birdie. They also were special. They always had a colored pencil drawing on the front depicting the event for which we had gathered.
On a recent kayak trip on the Grand River, I was able to get a good photo of an American Bittern. I was excited to share it with Birdie. It wasn’t long after that I received a beautiful colored pencil sketch of that exact bird. I will cherish that drawing and the many others, forever.
My favorite times were when we were, by chance, alone–riding or simply just sitting on the raft and sometimes sipping scotch. We discussed a variety of topics ranging from raising kids to politics. Only once did I get the knuckle pointed at me as she exclaimed “well let me tell you buster!” More often than not I would listen to the stories of Clark Lake and how she met the love of her life, Bill, and how much she loved Clark Lake. The scotch usually ran out before the stories did.
Quite often when our paths would cross she’d greet me “Tucker, boy, it’s so nice to see you.” I will always hold those words close to my heart.
How special a lady was your Mother, Nana and our Birdie. I can close my eyes and see her sitting in her pink robe on the end of the dock, or paddling her Old Town canoe on Clark Lake. I will miss those sightings of my Birdie, your Mother and Nana!
Tricia and I will always love and cherish the memory of your Mother, Nana, and forever–our Birdie!
Angela Ligibel Obituary
by Ted Ligibel, on behalf of the family
In the early hours of July 30th, our remarkable mother, Angela Ileen Ligibel, left this earth for a special place in heaven and in our memories. That she lived life with gusto would be an understatement. Her nickname, the “Energizer Bunny,” aptly described her exuberance for life, even well into her 90s. Once she met you, you became a life-long friend.
A descendant of well-known Toledo families, Angela (Rensch) Ligibel was born on September 3, 1924. She attended Ladyfield, St. Ursula Academies and Mary Manse College, and worked in her parent’s business in her pre-marriage years. She married William ‘Bill’ Ligibel in 1944 and was a devoted mother to her four children. The life of many events and celebrations, even her grandchildren wanted ‘Nana’ to be at their parties.
Angela helped out at the family business all her life, and following the death of her father, Aloys Rensch, in 1984, assumed management of A. Rensch & Company. This imported food store was one of Toledo’s oldest companies, having been founded in 1882 by Swiss immigrant brothers, Anton and Benedict Rensch. She operated the business for twenty years, carrying on its long tradition of filling holiday gift box orders at Christmas time. She actively promoted the unique specialty foods that the company offered and had a food cart, Rensch’s A-La Carte at the Portside Festival Marketplace. As an advocate of downtown Toledo, Angela was an early member of the Warehouse District Association. The store closed in 2012 after 124 years of operation, 118 of those in the same building at 607 Monroe Street.
A devout Catholic, she was a 70+ year member of Blessed Sacrament parish, where she organized and participated in many events, including the annual Lenten fish-fry, and as a Cub and Girl Scout den leader. She felt called to volunteer and did so at a variety of locations, including St. Rose School, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and she was a fixture in her red holiday attire in the front hall during the Holidays at the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve Metropark.
Angela cherished her family’s connection to Clark Lake which began in the 1890s when her grandfather, Benedict Rensch, purchased land for a summer home. She spent every summer of her life there, and this is where she met her husband, Bill Ligibel. She was an active participant in numerous events at Clark Lake, including her favorite, the annual Raft-O-Rama, as well as many of the activities sponsored by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation. Many evenings she could be seen sitting on the dock watching the sunset with her feet dangling in the water. She water-skied up until her 89th birthday.
She is predeceased by her husband, William Ligibel; her parents Aloys and Fleurange (Cunningham) Rensch; her sister Mary Frances; and three grandchildren. Surviving are her children William Michael (Nancy), Ted (Patricia), Angel Dandar (James), and Rebecca Ligibel. Also celebrating her life are her grandchildren Jennifer Ligibel (James Gehan), Geoffrey (Heidi) Ligibel, Bradley (Annie) Ligibel, Jamie Dandar (Robert) McKinney, Colleen Dandar (Danny) Tankoos, Sally Dandar (Bradley J) Lyons, Ross Ligibel (fiancé, Bailey Fagan), Brandi Zak and Noah Zak, as well as eight great-grandchildren, Nicolas and Emma Gehan; Hailey, Griffen, and Lucy Angela Ligibel; Bria and Ryan Ligibel; and Taylor Tankoos. Her sister Kathleen Rensch also survives. Her life-long friends Mimi Marks, Grace Sattler, and Rita Spieker survive as well.
The family would like to thank the staffs at Sunset Village and Hospice of Northwest Ohio for their tenderness and superior care.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be offered to the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, Blessed Sacrament Parish, St. Ursula Academy, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Friends may visit at the Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, on Tuesday, August 2, from 2 pm – 8 pm. A Scripture Service will be recited at 7 pm. Funeral services will be held Wednesday August 3, 2016 at the Church of The Most Blessed Sacrament, 2240 Castlewood Dr. Toledo, Ohio, 43614, at 10:30 am where the family will greet visitors from 9:30 am till 10:30 am. Interment services will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
As mentioned in the obituary, Angela loved Clark Lake. Several years ago she wrote a My Clark Lake Story on this website. You can read it by clicking here.