Monica Orren

Wing-Bain Funeral Home

Monica Orren

Granite Falls - Monica Orren, age 74, of Granite Falls, passed away on August 24, 2021 at the Granite Falls Hospital. A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, August 30, 2021 at 10:30 AM at Granite Falls Lutheran Church in Granite Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Monica Gail Orren, a longtime resident of Granite Falls, MN, passed away on August 24 after a lengthy illness. She was born on October 20, 1946, to Calvin and Audrey Christensen in Hendricks, MN, where she lived until moving to New Ulm in 1962. She graduated from New Ulm High School in 1964. She married her high school sweetheart Dale Orren on May 8, 1965, and the young couple made their home in Hendricks, where she gave birth to four daughters, all of whom enjoyed growing up in such a tight-knit community.

While a young mother, Monica worked the night shift as a CNA in the Hendricks Nursing Home in order to be available during the day for her daughters' activities. She was a conscientious homemaker who kept a tidy house—every day at 4 p.m. was toy-cleanup time. In 1985, Monica went back to school, studying to be a medical lab technician. After she finished school, the family moved to Granite Falls, where Monica would live for the rest of her life. She worked tirelessly at the Granite Falls Hospital throughout these years, a work ethic that would rub off on her daughters and propel them into successful careers.

Monica loved sewing and crocheting, and was working on an afghan for her youngest grandson up until a month before she passed. Examples of her handiwork—clothes, toys, blankets and winterwear—populate the homes and wardrobes of her family, filling them with love and keeping them warm at night while providing comforting memories. One lasting gift is a crocheted baptismal gown and blanket made for each family to be used for Monica's future great grandchildren and generations to come.

She was a dedicated member of the community, teaching Sunday school, serving as a Brownie leader, and singing in the choir at Granite Falls Lutheran Church. After she retired, she worked the front desk at the Kilowatt Community Center in Granite Falls, where she was a kind and welcoming presence.

Monica touched many lives in so many ways. Her love for her daughters, grandchildren and friends was enormous. She will be remembered for her sense of adventure and eagerness to travel, her excellent taste and her gift for telling stories. She had a way of drawing people into conversation that made strangers feel like they were friends she hadn't met yet. Her co-workers appreciated her kindness and humor.

She is survived by her partner, Brad Scott; her four adoring daughters, Kim Steffes (Duane) of Maple Grove, MN, Shelly (Joe) Rybinski of Ivanhoe, MN, Sue (Andy) Sywak of Los Angeles, CA, and Molly Barborek of Montevideo, MN; her brothers Paul Christensen of Kooskia, ID, and Todd (Lisa) Christensen of Canby, MN; ten grandchildren: Trent Steffes, Auston Steffes, Jordan Vonderharr, Paytan Vonderharr, Emily Rybinski, Joseph Rybinski, Anthony Rybinski, Lucas Rybinski, Madeleine Sywak, and Spencer Sywak; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Dale, her parents, her brother Chuck and her niece Sara Weston.

Her family and friends will miss her gentle laugh, folksy humor and radiant warmth. Her memory will live on in her children and grandchildren forever.

A donation in her memory can be made to Granite Falls Hospice at Granite Falls Hospital. Arrangements are with the Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls. For online guestbook, please visit

Posted online on August 30, 2021