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Remembering Nay Nay

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GRAND FORKS — Still in shock. That’s how many in Grand Forks are feeling after the tragic death of a well-known mother in a Grand Forks motorcycle crash.

A makeshift memorial now sits at the base of the poll on Demers where 39-year-old Renee Lillehaugen's life came to a tragic end Wednesday night.

“It's not real, sorry, it's not real,” said Renee’s Daughter, Ashlee Ramsey.

Renee's friends greeted her daughter Ashlee and her parents when they arrived in Grand Forks on Friday.

After they received the earth-shattering news, they made the 26-hour drive from San Antonio Texas.

“I love her voice, her voice was so pretty,” said Ashlee.

That voice was silenced Wednesday night - when for unknown reasons - Renee lost control of her brand new Harley Motorcycle and crashed.

“She was so nice, sweet, she was my mom, so caring, she had the warmest hug and this perfume that smelled so good,” said Ashlee.

Known to most as Nay Nay, her family extended well beyond her three kids.

“She dipped into the genre of every pot and brought everyone together,” said Renee’s friend, Brenna Curry.

“She was everybody's family and she made sure that we all stuck together,” said Renee’s friend, Missy Laducer.

Whether it was with her electric moves and singing on the dance floor, or that yearly camping trip.

“She had this infectious smile that made you laugh, make you feel like you are loved,” said Renee’s friend, JoDee Burns.

And the love was still mutual - even if you didn't like what she had to say.

“Her honesty, her blunt honesty, no matter what it was she never held back,” said Renee’s friend, Kat Sebenaler.

A young woman - being remembered as the light of all lights for her heart of gold and magnetic personality.

“I don't think anybody has fully accepted this, and it's going to be there for a long time,” said Brenna.

“I'm 21, I've lost my mother,” said Ashlee.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Renee's family pay for her funeral.

If you’d like to make a donation, click here.

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