Raymond J. Renken, 92, of Le Mars, died Monday, April 3, 2006, at his home in Le Mars.
Raymond John Renken was born Oct. 17, 1913, on the family farm to Herman and Anna (Brabander) Renken. He was baptized and confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Grant Township. He attended country school in Grant Township.
Ray was united in marriage to Esther Brunken on Aug. 20, 1943, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Ray became a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in 1946.
Ray farmed his entire life with the exception of the years her served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army. While in the Army, Ray served on Guam, New Guinea, Iwo Jima and the Philippines. He fought in the beachhead landing of Okinawa with the 593rd Joint Assault Signal Corp. Following his honorable discharge from the service, he returned to Plymouth County to farm.
Ray enjoyed farming and feeding livestock. While raising his family, Ray had volunteered as a 4-H leader. Ray and Esther continued to farm until there retirement in 1980 and moved to Le Mars. Although retired, Ray continued to help on the farm for many years.
Ray was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, and the Heeren-McHale-Wilken American Legion Post #724 of Brunsville. Ray enjoyed playing a good game of cards with family or friends.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Esther Renken of Le Mars; four children, Dennis and his wife, Helen Renken of Le Mars, Mary and her husband, Larry Miles of Coleman, S.D., David and his wife, Judy Renken of Le Mars, and Shirley and her husband, Bill Ruhland of Le Mars; 10 grandchildren, Deborah Fruend and her husband Bryan, Matthew Renken and his fiancée Marissa, Jennifer Renken, Dennis Jon Schmidt and his wife Stacey, Dean Schmidt and his wife Sabrina, Beth Renken and her fiancé Chris, Neil Renken, Erica Smith and her husband William, Nicole Ruhland, and Zachary Ruhland; seven great-grandchildren, nine stepgrandchildren and 17 stepgreat-grandchildren; two sisters, Louise Beitelspacher of Akron and Florence Utech of Le Mars; a brother, Lester Renken of Neuman Grove, Neb., and three sisters-in-law, Minnie Renken, Ethel Renken, and Betty Brunken, all of Le Mars.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, George, Herman, Lawrence, and Marvin; a sister, Viola Tammen; and a son-in-law, Henry Schmidt.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. John's Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A. with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars, with military honors provided by the Heeren-McHale-Wilken American Legion Post #724. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Thursday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present after 6 p.m. to greet friends followed by a 7:30 p.m. prayer service at the funeral home. Visitation will continue Friday morning from 9:30 a.m. to service time at the church.
Pallbearers will be Matthew Renken, Dennis Jon Schmidt, Dean Schmidt, Neil Renken, Zachary Ruhland, Bryan Freund and William Smith.
Condolences may be sent and viewed at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.