GVSU student still ‘very much a part of OU’


Rachel Ring loved to read.

Ring, 19, of Addison Township, died Saturday, Oct. 22 in a four-car collision on I-75 while making her way to a bookstore with her best friend Jenna Balabuch, who also perished in the accident.

Rachel, a sophomore at Grand Valley State University, previously attended Oakland University.

“She loved OU and met a lot of friends there,” said Ginny Ring, Rachel’s mother. “A lot of people from Romeo were there. It’s a close community.”

Rachel and Jenna were both 2010 graduates of Romeo High School and had been best friends since preschool.

“It’s going to be hard carrying on without them: I always think of them with both of their noses in books,” Ginny said Tuesday afternoon.

Ginny described her as a religious person who had a “huge amount of faith in God.” Ring was very involved at Faith Church, an Evangelical Presbyterian church in Rochester Hills.

She served as a summer intern at the church and also led a youth group.

“I’m at peace because I know where she’s at,” Ginny said. “She’s in heaven.”

Rachel transferred to Grand Valley State University this year and, to the surprise of her entire family, joined the rowing team.

“It was a tough decision for her to transfer to GVSU because my husband has cancer and he didn’t want her to stay at home just because of that,” Ginny said. “He wanted her to get on with her own life.”

She was studying international relations and French. Rachel was a huge Francophile who aspired to one day become a French teacher.

Rachel and Jenna were inseparable, Ginny said. They rode horses together for fun.

Rachel made a point of spending time with Jenna and other Oakland friends during her first weekend home in months since transferring to Grand Valley.

Ginny said she had hoped to take her daughter shopping, but on Saturday, Rachel wanted to hang out with Jenna.

“She was still very much a part of OU,” Ginny said.

Rachel is survived by her mother Ginny, father Jeff and sisters Stephanie Barnes and Allison Hutt.

Visitation hours are being held Wednesday and Thursday at Potere-Modetz Funeral Home in Rochester from 3 to 9 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Faith Church, 160 W. Hamlin Rd. in Rochester Hills. The family is in the process of establishing the Rachel Ring Memorial Fund, where donations can be made in lieu of flowers.