Laird Funeral Home
310 South State Street
Elgin, IL 60123
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James E. Renz

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James E. Renz Obituary
Renz, James E. Formerly of Elgin. Son of Frederick W. and Madeline A. (Hobbs) Renz, was born in Greenville, Ohio on September 20, 1918 and he passed away at Pinecrest Manor in Mt. Morris, IL on May 19, 2013. He graduated from Greenville High School (with honors in the National Honor Society) in June, 1936 after which he attended Indiana Technical College (Aeronautical Engineering) from 1936-1937. From 1937 to 1939 he worked on a Federal Highway Construction crew. From 1939 to 1943 he attended Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, majoring in Religion and Philosophy, graduating in 1943. From 1943-1944 he served as pastor of the Wabash, Indiana Church of the Brethren and from 1944-1948 the Lima, Ohio, Church of the Brethren. In 1948 he began attending Bethany Theological Seminary in Chicago, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree. From 1950-1952 he served as pastor of the Naperville, IL, Church of the Brethren. In 1952 he became Director of Social Welfare for the Church of the Brethren, General Brotherhood Board, Elgin, IL., where he served for nine years. During this period he served as the State of Illinois representative at the White House Conference on Children and Youth and the White House Conference on the Aging. He has served as President of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, and as President of the Illinois Association of Homes for the Aging. In 1960 he was asked by community persons to consult in establishing an outpatient alcoholism treatment center for the Elgin community, which was named "Community Concern for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse". He served as Director of the agency until June of 1986 at which time he retired. One year before his retirement the Board changed the name of the agency to "Renz Addiction Counseling Center". He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Elgin and a life member of Kiwanis International, serving in various offices in the local club, and various offices in the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District, including Treasurer, and Governor of the District. He was active in United Way of Elgin, Elgin Babe Ruth Baseball, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, Central Baptist Family Services and other programs. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lois Ruth (Burns) Renz; one daughter, Myralee (Dean) Thompson of South Elgin; and seven grandchildren, Tammy (Rich) Grenda of Geneva, Rick Thompson of Rockford, Lori (Stephen) Page of Elgin, Troy (Stacy) Fleenor of Elgin, James (Kathy) Lasley of Flagstaff, AZ, Scott (Amanda) Lasley of Flagstaff, and Pamela Lasley of Walsenburg, CO. He is also survived by 17 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Madeline Renz, and by two daughters, Linda (Leon) Fleenor, and Roberta Jo (Robbie) Lasley. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, 783 W. Highland Ave., Elgin, on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM. There will be a reception in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pinecrest Community, Mt. Morris, IL or the Renz Addiction Counseling Center, Elgin. Laird Funeral Homes of Elgin and West Dundee are in charge of arrangements. For information, 847-741-8800 or
Published in Courier News on May 29, 2013
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