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Funeral Planned In Ski Chalet For Skiing Sisters

January 19, 1988

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) _ A funeral for two sisters fatally injured in a traffic accident will be held at a ski chalet because they loved the sport, their mother says.

″It was their love,″ Ann Jean Tibbetts, of Lakeland, said Monday. ″They were naturals. There’s a camaraderie, something about being in a ski atmosphere, that’s wonderful.″

The service will be held Thursday at the Afton Alps ski area near Lakeland.

Michelle Tibbetts, 22, died Sunday in the accident near Hastings, south of Lakeland. Renee Tibbetts, 18, died Monday at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said. Both were members of the University of Minnesota ski team.

The State Patrol said Michelle apparently lost control of the car on an icy highway while driving south to a ski area at Welch and collided with another vehicle.

The Tibbettses’ teammates decided to go ahead and participate in the Governor’s Cup at the Welch ski area after hearing about the accident. They finished fourth.

″It was a race in both of their honor,″ said team captain Gina Burdette. ″That’s what Michelle would have wanted us to do.″

″They were born and raised on the hills,″ she said.

The two sisters began skiing as toddlers at the Trollhaugen ski area at Dresser, Wis., where their parents were on the ski patrol, their mother said.

Last week, Michelle won the giant slalom in the Michigan Governor’s Cup ski meet in Marquette, Mich. Her sister finished second.

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