Michelle Rae Vanek born in Lakewood Co on Feb 5th 1970 to Ray and Judy Cheeney, lived life to the fullest. She attended Lakewood High school graduating in 1988. Michelle took 6 months off to give birth to her son Michael and then pursued her education in Accounting at Regis University, graduating in 1992. She was very focused and determined to complete her education on time, such determination was present in her everyday life. Michelle worked with KPMG Accounting firm for several years. In the fall of 92 she married Ben Vanek of Lakewood and started a new chapter in her life.
Michelle and Ben over the next few years expanded their family with the additions of Grant and Alexis, during which they lived in Littleton. After years of service to KPMG, Michelle decided to spend her all of her efforts at home full time becoming a stay at home mother. During This time she became involved in and helped establish the Teen MOPS organization in Lakewood Co. “She felt like helping those young girls who found themselves becoming mothers, find their way.” After moving back into Lakewood, Michelle and Ben were blessed with their fourth child, Haley in 2003. Life seemed complete until September 24th 2005, when Michelle went to attempt her first fourteener and never came home. Michelle was a sister-in-law of one of our firefighters. Soon after her death our firefighters held numerous fundraisers in an effort to begin the Michelle Vanek Scholarship Fund. Click here to download Scholarship Application.
We enlisted the help of Michelle’s family to help us figure out the right group to channel these funds to. As it turns out Michelle was always concerned in helping single teen mother’s get the education that most do not have the chance to get due to their circumstances.
Her life and legacy remains strong in the hearts, minds and souls of those she left behind.
Michelle Rae Vanek
“Always remembered, Never forgotten.”