RACINE – Angelica “Angie” Rios was a mother, a certified nursing assistant, a member of Racine Unified’s staff and so much more.
Her life was taken early Friday — when she was only 30 years old — during a domestic-violence incident in the 2600 block of 19th Street that police are investigating as a potential murder-suicide. Police have not yet released the name of the man involved in the incident.
On Sunday, Mother’s Day, the porch of the house was piled with flowers, candles and stuffed animals. On Saturday evening, dozens gathered outside the 19th Street home to remember Rios.
One of the messages during the vigil was to support anyone who is subjected to domestic violence, said Jenna Buenger, a registered nurse at Ascension All Saints Hospital who had worked with Rios and was at the vigil with friends and co-workers.
“In Angie’s memory, we have to do everything we can to stop that cycle and help those in need,” Buenger said.
On Saturday, many of Rios’ Facebook friends changed their profile pictures to include a purple filter with the words “Break the silence” and showed a hand with the words “War against domestic violence.”
Rios was a CNA at Ascension for about five years and recently took a full-time job with Racine Unified, but she still worked some shifts at the hospital.
“She was an incredibly compassionate caregiver,” Buenger said. “She was one of the CNAs everyone wanted to work with and appreciated the details and took care of the whole patient. She was in tune with the patients’ needs, physical, emotionally and spiritually … she was literally one of those people who walked into a patient’s room and made a difference when she came out.”
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Racine Unified confirmed that Rios worked as a clerk at one of its schools.
“We are heartbroken for the family of Angie Rios,” Unified spokeswoman Stacy Tapp said. “She will be deeply missed by her school colleagues and students.”
Above all else, Rios loved her children.
“They were, without a doubt, her everything,” Buenger said. “From the stories I knew about her, she was an incredible mom who would stop at nothing to give her children the best life possible.”
Her Facebook cover photo, updated May 5, includes photos of a smiling girl and boy captioned “sweet little lady and hardworking fella.”
A photo on her profile dated April 18, 2018, showed a note her children wrote to her and a prepared lunch. She said in the caption: “As my kids and I are running out the door this morning my kids stop me and say, ‘Wait mom don’t forget your lunch.’ I tell them I was too tired last night. I didn’t get a chance to pack it. They say, ‘We know mom. That’s why we packed you one.’ ”
Her post continued: “OMG my heart is literally so happy I’m truly blessed. Take care of your babies right and they’ll take good care of you.”