Wilbur "Bert" W. Renken, 72, of Le Mars, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005, at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.
Wilbur W. Renken was born Feb. 15, 1933, on the family farm in Plymouth County, the son of John and Sena (Ludwigs) Renken. He was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith. He attended country school in Grant Township and later Central High School in Le Mars where he graduated in 1951. He was united in marriage to Jerlois "Jeri" Klave on Dec. 30, 1955, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Craig. Together, they are the parents of four children: Keith, Rick, Steve, and Beth. In 1956, he was drafted into the United States Army and served his country in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1958. After returning, he and his wife farmed in Grant Township for many years. Later on, he worked production for Tyson Foods in Sioux Center.
He was a devoted member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Craig where he was a former council member and treasurer. He also served as a communion assistant and usher, and most recently with the grounds keeping of the church cemetery. He enjoyed refinishing woodwork, playing cards, and watching sports of all kinds. But most of all, he loved his family, especially his grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife of over 49 years, Jerlois of Le Mars; four children: Keith Renken of Craig, Rick Renken of Le Mars, Steve Renken of Ireton, and Beth Riley and her husband, Bill of Sioux City; eight grandchildren: Justin Renken, Sarah Renken, Taylor Renken, Maria Renken, Trevor Renken, Kaylee Renken, Daniel Riley and Desmon Riley; two sisters, Arlene Peters and her husband, Cliff of Le Mars, and Verda Marineau and her husband, Jim of Brunsville; two brothers, Erwin Renken and his wife, Joan of Brunsville, and Victor Renken and his wife, Lee of Sioux City; a sister-in-law, Kathy Renken of Brunsville; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Donald Renken; and a sister in infancy, Bernice Renken.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Craig, with the Rev. Daniel Gerrietts officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Friday), with the family present after 6 p.m., and a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until service time at the church.
Casketbearers will be Scott Renken, Jon Marineau, Jay Miller, Chad Oltmanns, Ronald Ludwigs and Todd Miller. Honorary Casketbearers will be his grandchildren.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.