Maureen Danielle Padgett (aka: Dener, Teacher Rheen, Mo, and O’Hara), died Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, at Essential Health Duluth (Miller-Dwan Oncology) following a shocking and swift cancer diagnosis in mid-January.
Maureen was born in Virginia, Minn., on Aug. 3, 1961. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1979 and continued on with her education at Mesabi Community College in Virginia and St. Mary’s College in Minneapolis majoring in special education and smear (not necessarily in that order).
Maureen has had several different jobs throughout her life, but two, in particular, were the most rewarding to her. When living in Hibbing, Maureen worked at Homes Incorporated, where she taught independent living skills to developmentally disabled adults. Upon returning to Virginia, she eventually found her true calling in the day care arena, working at Chicagami Too, Milestones and, most recently, Brandie’s Little Bear Learning Center. After an almost 30-year career in daycare, it is amazing to think back on all the little hearts, minds, and souls she touched and influenced. It takes a special person to work with little kids and tolerate all that attitude and commotion day after day, but Maureen loved it and thrived in that atmosphere. There were few places she could go without hearing a tiny voice calling out, “Teacher Rheen! Teacher Rheen! Look mom, there’s Teacher Rheen!” All those little kiddos will forever own a small piece of her heart.
Blessed with envied artistic ability and a knack for crafting, Maureen loved creating heart-felt, one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts. If you were ever a recipient of one of them, I imagine you are still proudly displaying it somewhere. To sum up Maureen, she was a lover of hoodies, photography, eagles, antiques, daisies, anything fall related, Aerosmith (specifically, Steven Tyler), an occasional argument (especially on Facebook), and our Coe Lake cabin (as long as someone else was out there with her). She was an avid collector of throw pillows and rustic, decorative trees and sought inner joy decorating her home in cozy, comforting, and inviting themes. She lived a simple life, embodied a strong work ethic, and cherished her family, friends, and fur babies above all else. Maureen’s strong faith was of great comfort to her and her family at this most difficult time.
Maureen is survived by her son, Dylan Padgett of Virginia. He will forever be her greatest gift; brightest star; pride and joy; and love of her life. She is also survived by her brother, Mark (Lisa) Padgett of Maple Grove; her sisters, Marcie Padgett (Michael Barnett) of Cottage Grove and Marla Padgett of Eveleth; her nieces, Mayson Branch of Statesboro, Ga., and Whitney Padgett of Gorham, Maine; her nephews, Aaron (Maria) Padgett of Anoka and Jesse Beam of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; and numerous extended family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Beverly (Hanela) Padgett; and her sisters, Melanie Padgett and Melisa Padgett-Branch.