With sadness we, the family of Michelle Lee Van Raam, 25, of Greeley, have to announce that Michelle passed away on December 3, 2019 in Greeley, Colorado.
Michelle was born on August 6, 1994 at Rose Medical Center in Denver Colorado weighing 5 pounds 8 ½ ounces, 19 inches long. Michelle was born with a full head of jet black hair which later would turn into curly “uncontrollable hair” that her family jokingly called “the poof”. Michelle always complained that she was little being five foot nothing and 113 pounds but her mom told her she was “fun sized” and Michelle was. Her laughter was contagious and Michelle’s smile would light up a room.
Michelle was quite the entertainer- always making those around her laugh and just being in her presence was comforting. She would purposely do silly or goofy things to get others to laugh. She wanted to make other’s happy. Michelle never knew a stranger-she would instantly make friends. Once a person became Michelle’s friend you stayed that way through thick or thin. She was honest, loyal and devoted.
Michelle attended and graduated from Northridge High School in 2013. She participated in softball, track, theater, and band during her years at Northridge. Michelle played the guitar, French horn and trumpet. Michelle knew Spanish and French. She was learning Swahili and Polish just because she wanted to.
Michelle was born into a proud military family. Her great-grandfather, her grandfather and her father all served in the military- two of them being deployed during war time. Michelle knew her heritage and while in high school joined the Civil Air Patrol. Loving the uniforms, the tradition, the camaraderie she knew she wanted to serve our great nation. Michelle joined the Army December 12, 2012 for early enlistment and upon high school graduation officially became a US Army Solider. Michelle graduated from Basic Training top 10% in her class with honors. Michelle was a leader and was fondly known by her fellow soldiers as “Van RamBo”. Michelle was little but she was tough and set her mind to finishing strong. Upon graduation she went to Virginia for Advance Individual Training and was eventually stationed at Ft Lewis Washington. Michelle loved Washington, the ocean, the mountains but always said Colorado was her home. Michelle was deployed to Afghanistan and was attached to a small Special Forces Unit as a C-RAM Operator. C-RAM stands for Counter- Rockets, Artillery Mortar meaning it was Michelle’s job to shoot down attacks on her camp. Michelle was proud of her service and never thought of doing anything else.
After her honorable discharge from Military Service Michelle came back to Greeley, Co. She struggled to find her place. Michelle volunteered at the Veterans Resource Center to assist other Veterans. Michelle always wanted to help others and give back to her Community especially Veterans.
Michelle came to life in the outdoors and enjoyed God’s beauty. Michelle was spiritual and had a strong belief in God and HIS love. Michelle had her first tent camping experience when was when she was 4 years old and her mom couldn’t keep her out of the dirt. Michelle loved hiking and camping.
Michelle has a beautiful service dog named Axle Mayhem Van Raam and he was her fur baby. She went everywhere with him. Axel even had a name badge which Michelle said “gave him authority”. Michelle’s partner has a beautiful Great Dane named Birdie who Michelle adored. She loved her fur babies.
Michelle is survived by her mother, Kathy Browning (John Kennedy); siblings, Hannah, Lisa and Luke Thomas, half- brother Colton Berube( Quincey); Grandfather Sherwood Browning; and partner, Michelle Maciszewski.
Memorial contributions in Michelle VanRaam’s name can be made to the World Wildlife Foundation, in care of Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley, Colorado 80634. Michelle adored her brother Luke who is worried about endangered animals and this would honor to her name and her love of family.
To leave condolences for Michelle’s family, www.adamsoncares.com
Life Celebration Memorial will be held at 10:00am, beginning with a Rosary at 9:30am, Friday, December 13, 2019 at Adamson Life Celebration Home in Greeley, Colorado.