2011-06-30 / Obituaries

Ken Renak

Kenneth Earl Renak, beloved father, brother, and friend, passed away June 25, 2011, in Idaho Falls, Idaho from complications brought on by an advanced case of coral poisoning.

Ken was born to Emil Renak and Mary Ella Van Keuran Renak on July 4, 1932, in New Milford, CT. He grew up in Patterson, hunting and fishing in his beloved woods of the Hudson River Valley, and was an avid sportsman, musician, and dancer.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950 and served his country gallantly as a radio operator on a B-29 Superfortress during the Korean War.

In 1954, Ken met and married Jennie Mabel Ralls and spent the next 20 years raising his family of six children in Patterson. During those years he lived a full life as an active member of the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department and as the Treasurer/Chairman responsible for fund raising, which built Patterson a new fire house. He also served his community as a City Councilman, was an avid softball player, and a great bowler. We will never forget him sharing wonderful personal stories and family memories.

In 1973, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and life changed--Ken was grievously injured in an industrial accident and lost the use of his hands. His days would never be the same after this.

Dad never once complained about his lot—he was always upbeat and had a knack for bringing out the best in those around him with his cheerful attitude and straight-shooting personality. He lived with his heart on his sleeve and would give a total stranger the shirt off his back if he felt they needed it more than he.

Dad’s gift to his children was an ability to see through to the heart of a situation, and to have empathy for all those around him ... to know that there is so much more to life than simply accumulating wealth; his secret was to live life well, no matter your circumstances.

Ken’s survivors include: his wife, Sherry Kaye Flynn Renak, of Idaho Falls, ID; his six children: sons Todd (Zana) Renak of Rockledge, FL; George Renak, of Prescott, AZ; Jon (Sandra) Renak of Salt Lake City, UT; daughters Kim Renak of Salt Lake City, UT; Lisa (Garry) Baker of Salt Lake City, UT; and son, Dan Renak of Salt Lake City, UT; his brother Emil (Lynda) Renak of Patterson and sister Karen (Bob) Thompson of Wingdale; 15 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held for Ken at 11am on Saturday, July 2, at Wood Funeral Home (273 North Ridge Avenue, Idaho Falls) with Pastor Sonny Morris officiating. The family will visit with friends for one hour prior to services at Wood’s. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery, with military rites performed by the Bonneville County Memorial Veterans Team and the Idaho Honor Guard. Condolences may be sent to the family online at woodfuneralhome.com.

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