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Journey to the Spirit World

This page serves as a space to honor and remember the lives of our tribal members who have passed away. Here, we come together as a compassionate and supportive community to pay tribute to their legacies.

Obituary picture of Renae Anderson
Renae Anderson

Born: October 16, 1986
Journeyed to the Spirit World: July 8, 2023

Renae Blair Anderson (Cante Un Kitawapi Ikiyedan Winyan) She’s In Our Hearts Woman, age 36, of Flandreau, SD, started her journey on July 18, 2023. Funeral services will be held 1:00 PM, Monday, July 24, 2023 at Wicaicaga Otipi Community Center in Flandreau, SD. Visitation will take place from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Saturday, July 22, 2023, and an all-night wake service on Sunday July 23, 2023 beginning at 7:00 PM at Wicaicaga Otipi Community Center in Flandreau, SD.

Renae Blair Anderson “Cante Unkitawapi Ikiyeda Win” (She’s Close To Our Hearts Woman) was born on October 16th, 1986, to Scott Anderson and Sherry Weston in Brookings, SD. She was a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and grew up in the Wakpa Ipaksan where she developed a passion for fancy shawl dancing. Being from two large families of her community, Renae grew up around her traditional Dakota ways and became a sundancer and participated in many ceremonies. Her Aunt Doreen Bird gifted her with her Dakota name at a ceremony in Long Hollow. Her father and her had special nicknames for each other, he called her “Anderchuck”, and she called him “Darth”. For the first 17 years of her life, Renae was the only girl in her family. Growing up with all brothers helped mold her into the tough person she was and contributed to the strong bonds she shared with all her cousin/sisters. After attending Flandreau Public School, she received her GED and went on to attend Haskell Indian Nations University where she met Jim Martin in 2007. They relocated to Flandreau, SD and on March 3rd, 2008, they welcomed their son, Ari Frances Martin.

In 2012, Renae relocated to Brookings, SD. The following year she met Daniel Van Hofwegen and they were married on December 31st, 2013. During this time, they established their home together, in Minneapolis, MN. Through their union they welcomed their son, Wilder Harding, daughter, Cora Elizabeth, daughter Vera Anneke, and son Diederik “Mahpiya Wicaste” Van Hofwegen. Renae birthed their first three children, naturally at their home in Minneapolis, MN with midwifes alongside her. Through her homebirth experiences, Renae had ambitions to become a midwife and assist in home births.

Throughout her life in Flandreau, she was employed at the Royal River Casino and Native Nations Cannabis. In 2020, Renae enrolled at Dunwoody College of Technology majoring in graphic design. Renae was known for her authenticity and individualism which made her such a unique individual who never followed fashion trends and created her own style that only “Renae could pull off”. She had a passion for yoga, weightlifting, art, music, traveling, being outdoors, beading, and being an animal lover. Some of her favorite music artists include Fleetwood Mac, Father John Misty, Against Me, Pure X, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Beach House, Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, Tyler Childers, White Fence, and Prince. Renae was a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins. With the influence from her brothers who played guitar and drums, she learned to play guitar. Her family and friends will remember her as a free spirit, who immersed herself in creativity, and was drawn to diverse people and places. A long-time friend of hers said it perfectly “She was such a rare, creative, radical woman, effortlessly beautiful.” The love she carried for her five children goes immeasurable.

Renae is survived by her children, Ari Martin, Lawrence, KS, Wilder Van Hofwegen, Cora Van Hofwegen, Vera Van Hofwegen, Mahpiya Van Hofwegen, all of Minneapolis, MN, Father, Scott Anderson (Brooki), Flandreau, SD, Mother Sherry Weston, Flandreau, SD, Grandmother Betty Taylor, Flandreau, SD, Brothers Kenneth Weston (Cynthia) Flandreau, SD, Travis Anderson (Tia) Flandreau, SD, Derek Anderson, Flandreau, SD, sister Alyssa Anderson, LaCrosse, WI, sister Victoria Olson, Flandreau, SD, Uncle Duwayne Weston, Flandreau, SD, Uncle JP Roy Flandreau, SD, Aunt Doreen Bird, Flandreau, SD, Aunt Victoria Anderson, Flandreau, SD, Aunt Leah Fyten, Flandreau, SD, Aunt Cynthia Weston, Flandreau, SD, Nephews: Elmer Weston, Samuel Weston, and Takoja Lucio, Nieces: Mazzy Johanson, Juliauna Anderson, Scarlett Anderson, Sophia Anderson, Mila Anderson, Ava Anderson, Akira Anderson, Alessia Anderson and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Her beloved dog, Ista To.

Renae is preceded in death by her maternal Grandparents Elmer Weston and Vera Heminger Weston, Great Grandparents Amos and Sophia Weston, Chris and Lucinda Heminger, Theodore Taylor, and Ann Flower, Aunt Jennifer Fyten, Aunt Sharon Weston, Brother Scott Anderson, Jr, Cousin/Brothers, Eric Anderson, William Bird Jr, David Foreman, Daniel Weston, Konrad Roy and Darren Roy.