Walter J. Renken, 82, of Le Mars, died Saturday, June 25, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
Walter John Renken was born Jan. 21, 1923, on the family farm in Grant Township, Plymouth County, the son of Gareith and Reaka (Oetken) Renken. He was baptized and confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church by the Rev. F.O. Bunge. He attended country school in Grant Township. Walt was united in marriage to Edith Berkenpas on Sept. 20, 1945, by Rev. Bunge at the Christ Lutheran Church parsonage. Walt and Edith farmed in Grant Township until his retirement in 1987. Walt and Edith continued to live on the farm until 2003 when they moved to Le Mars. He was proud of having lived on the farm for 80 years.
Walt loved the lifestyle of a farmer. He enjoyed the fall harvest; especially picking corn. He enjoyed Allis-Chalmers tractors and loved to reminisce about the old days of farming with his friends and neighbors. He was very proud that his farm was designated a "Century Farm" in Iowa.
Walt and Edith enjoyed taking trips to visit family. He enjoyed all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Walt was a past member of Christ Lutheran Church and a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Edith of Le Mars; four children, Jerry and his wife, Shirley Renken of Beresford, S.D., Jimmy and his wife, Beverly Renken of Akron, Patricia and her husband, Brian Majeres of Le Mars, and Karen and her husband, Tod Schlenger of Le Mars; 12 grandchildren, Danny (Trisha) Renken, Davey Renken, Dicky Renken, Tim (Kim) Renken, Matthew (Lindsey) Renken, Angela Renken, Jacob Renken, Jeremiah Renken, Michael (Janet) Shultz, Justin Shultz, Travis Schlenger and Andrew Schlenger; 11 great-grandchildren, Isabella Renken, Katerina Renken, Nikita Renken, Hunter Shultz, Avery Shultz, Harbor Renken, Hannah Renken, Heidi Renken, Rachel Renken, Mallorie Minor and Donovan Minor; a brother, Herman and his wife, Everdena Renken of Akron; two brothers-in-law, Henry and his wife, Anita Berkenpas and Merlin Singer, all of Le Mars; six sisters-in-law, Hilda Renken of Le Mars, Dorothy and her husband Paul Hoppe of Le Mars, Jean Van Roekel of Orange City, Frances Leonard of Austin, Texas, Lillian Berkenpas of Le Mars, and Marge Berkenpas of Las Vegas, Nev.; and several nieces and nephews.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Gareith and Reaka (Oetken) Renken; two brothers, Garieth and William Renken; and a sister, Luella Hoppe.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. John's Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A., with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Interment will be in Christ Lutheran Cemetery, Grant Township. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Monday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends after 5:30 p.m. followed by a 6:30 p.m. prayer service. Condolences may be viewed at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.
Pallbearers will grandchildren, Danny Renken, Davey Renken, Michael Shultz, Tim Renken, Matt Renken, and Travis Schlenger. Honorary pallbearers will be Dicky Renken, Justin Shultz, Jacob Renken, Jeremiah Renken, Angela Renken, and Andrew Schlenger.