Florence Anna Renken was born Jan. 25, 1916, on the family farm in Grant Township, Plymouth County, Iowa, the daughter of Herman and Anna (Brabander) Renken. She was baptized Feb. 13, 1916, and confirmed in 1931 at Christ Lutheran Church. Florence attended school in Grant Township.
On Jan. 18, 1939, Florence and Wesley Utech were united in marriage in Grant Township. The couple made their home on the Utech family farm in Heron Lake, Minn. After a few years the couple returned to Grant Township to farm. In 1956 Florence, Wesley, and their family moved to Trent, S.D., and farmed there until 1965. They returned and made their home in Le Mars where Florence began a 20-year career with Westmar College in the Student Union. Wesley died Sept. 1, 1980. Florence remained in her home until moving to the Floyd Valley Apartments in 1988. She became a resident at Plymouth Manor Care Center Dec. 27, 2006.
Florence was a member at St. Johns' Lutheran Church in Le Mars. She was active in the Senior Center and served on its board of directors for many years. She enjoyed line dancing, playing cards, bingo, quilting and crocheting. Florence was a friend to many and a compassionate caregiver.
She will be lovingly remembered by her four sons and their wives: Ronald and Lorraine of Dell Rapids, S.D., Marlin and Anna of Dell Rapids, S.D., Wendell and Kathy of Grinnell, and Terry and Sue of Windom, Minn.; grandchildren Steven and Greg Utech, June Eng, Victor Utech, Marsha Weiland, Teresa Stuart, Kevin and Daniel Utech, Jessica Schneider, and Stephanie Utech; great-grandchildren: Abby and Lexy (Steven), Scott, Zach, Jordan, Josie, Shelby, and Katie (Greg), Matthew and Hannah (June), Amber and Andrew (Victor), Brandon and Brianna (Marsha), Davis and Brooks (Kevin); a brother and his wife Lester and Beulah Renken of Newman Grove, Neb.; and sisters-in-law Ethel Renken and Esther Renken of Le Mars.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Wesley; a grandson Dean; sisters Viola and Louise; and brothers George, Marvin, Ray, Herman and Lawrence.
Funeral services be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Burial will follow at Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will begin at 3: p.m. today (Wednesday) at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars. The family will be present from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral on Thursday.
Stories, memories and expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.