Leland James Renken (West Concord, MN)

12-06-18

Leland James Renken, 74, devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was gloriously called home by his Father in heaven on December 5th, 2018. 

Lee was born on June 11, 1944, the son of Markley and Grace (Hoodjer) in Eldora, IA. He graduated from Aplington Community School in 1962. After graduating, Lee farmed with his parents until marrying Barbara Kalkwarf on June 11, 1965. Together, Lee and Barb made their home in Parkersburg, IA, while Lee continued to farm and haul livestock on the side. They were blessed with two sons, Clinton Lee in 1968 and Cole Lee in 1971. During that time, Lee began millwright work with his brother Dennis and served as a Deacon and Trustee in their home church, First Congregational Church in Parkersburg.

Lee was an avid trapper and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and barrel racing with his favorite horse, Tilly. He passed along many of his interests and hobbies to his sons. In 1990, Lee and Barb moved to Richland Center, WI, to dairy farm, and in 1999 when Lee’s health began to fail, they made the move to West Concord, MN, to be closer to family. Lee was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 55, and had been progressing and battling the disease until his time of death.

Lee was a quiet and reserved man, and loved the Lord. His walk with Jesus was a central part of his life. Even with busy farm life, his Bible was always close at hand, many times laying right on the kitchen table where he would do his devotions. He demonstrated that love for the Lord to his family and encouraged them to put Jesus first in their lives. 

In his later years when time spent outdoors became increasingly difficult, Lee found new interests in the kitchen. Sharpening knives, making homemade applesauce, apple crisp, and growing pumpkins for pies were some of his favorite specialties. Despite his physical limitations, Lee still always maintained big plans of hunting, riding horses, and loved to fix anything broken. 

Lee is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barb Renken, West Concord; children Clint (Crystal) Renken, Zumbrota; Cole (Christine) Hendersonville, NC; grandchildren Corbin Renken, New Haven, CT; Lindsey (Justin) Smith, Minneapolis; Bethany Renken, Bloomington; Ethan, Christian, and Gabrielle Renken, all of Hendersonville, NC; great-grandson Isaiah Smith; sister Marilyn (Vern) Ingalls, Parkersburg, IA; sister-in-law Kathie, Tecumseh, MO; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Markley and Grace Renken and brother, Dennis.

 Courtesy of Mahn Family Funeral Home

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