Robert Renken, 86, of Iowa Falls, passed away Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at his Iowa Falls residence. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Monday, January 30, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church in Iowa Falls. He will be laid to rest with military honors at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Parkersburg. Visitation will be from 9:30 AM until service time on Monday, January 30 at the church. Counsell Woodley Funeral Home of Iowa Falls is caring for Bob and his family.
Robert Gary Renken was born August 6, 1936 in their family home in Grundy County near Parkersburg, Iowa. He was born the son of Robert O. Renken and Gertrude (Klooster) Renken. Bob attended German No. 1 country school and Wellsburg Community School, graduating from Wellsburg High School in 1954. He married Norma Harken in 1958 and three children were born to this marriage- Rachelle, Robyn and Robert. Bob and Norma were later divorced. On September 29, 1979 Bob married Marcia Kruger at the lodge at Pine Lake State Park near Eldora, Iowa.
Bob enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard at the age of 17. He attended officer’s candidate school in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1963 and was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He later resigned his officer’s commission to become the Platoon Sergeant and National Guard Recruiter with Company C – 1ST Battalion – 133rd Infantry of the Iowa Army National Guard units in Iowa Falls and Hampton, Iowa. Bob loved his service in the Army National Guard and proudly served for 27 years, retiring in 1981.
After high school, Bob went to work for Cervetti Construction of Steamboat Rock, Iowa and the Ackley Canning Factory in Ackley, Iowa. Bob then purchased the Phillips 66 service station in Ackley, Iowa. He owned and operated Renken’s Phillips 66 service station for 12 years. After selling the service station, he worked for Wietz Construction Company (Des Moines) and Todd and Sargent Construction (Ames) as a Construction Superintendent in Iowa and several other states for 13 years. After leaving the construction field, he worked for City Automotive and later Big A auto parts in Iowa Falls as a salesman selling automotive parts to area repair shops. Bob then went to work in the maintenance department at the Presbyterian Village (Grand Jivante) in Ackley, Iowa for 7 years until his retirement in August of 2006. Even though 2006 was his official retirement, Bob continued to keep himself busy helping an area farmer, Ken Butt, till and harvest his land for several years.
Bob loved his horses and served as president of the Ackley Saddle Club for 4 years and was a member of several other area saddle clubs for many years. Bob enjoyed taking his horses to the many local horse shows and participating in all the gaming events, especially barrel racing and pole bending, winning many ribbons and trophies on his horse Linda. He also truly enjoyed nature and rode on as many trail-rides that time allowed. Bob was a former member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Iowa Falls where he held offices of trustee and treasurer. Bob was also a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Iowa Falls.
Bob loved the outdoors, especially living and working on their acreage near Eagle City for over 40 years. He enjoyed get-togethers with his family and friends, caring for and riding his horses, restoring his father’s Minneapolis Moline tractor, tinkering in his shop, gardening, fishing and beautifying and “farming” their acreage. After moving to Iowa Falls in 2017, he continued to plant flowers and hostas and was fond of finding new projects to enhance their home in the city. He always had a list of projects to keep him busy! Bob enjoyed music his entire life and sang at many funerals and weddings over the years. He also loved to dance and he and his favorite dance partner, Marcia, spent many years dancing the night away along with their cherished friends.
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Marcia; daughter, Rachelle and husband Ed Dolan of West Des Moines, Iowa, daughter, Robyn and husband Scott Jackson of Ames, Iowa and son Robert “Bud” and wife Angela Renken of Urbandale, Iowa; granddaughter, Brittany Jackson of Mesa, Arizona; grandson, Trevor and his wife Aubrie Jackson of Roland, Iowa and grandson, Robert “Gabe” Renken of Urbandale, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Avrie Jackson and Leon Jackson of Roland, Iowa; two sisters, Rosalita (Ron) Brass of Dubuque, Iowa and Rosemary (Doug) Neymeyer of Ackley, Iowa and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Gertrude, his sister and brother in-law, Roberta and Harold Aukes and his first wife Norma Renken.