- April 1, 1918 - June 4, 2012
- Boise, Idaho
of Richard's Passing
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Richard C. (Dick) Renk, 94, of Boise passed away at home of natural causes on Monday, June 4, 2012.
Richard was born on April 1, 1918, the ninth child of Henry and Laura Renk of Eagle. He moved with his family to Boise in the mid 1920's when his father passed away unexpectedly. He attended Collister Elementary, St. Joseph's Catholic grade school and graduated from St. Teresa's Academy in 1936. He went to work for Union 76 (bus company) and later worked at Union Seed & Fuel until the start of World War II. A few months after the Pearl Harbor attack he enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a fire control officer aboard the U.S.S. Griffin, a submarine tender. He received campaign medals for service in the Pacific-Asiatic Theater and the Philippines Liberation Campaign.
On leave in 1943, Richard married his sweetheart, Lila May Benedict, at St. John's Cathedral in Boise. This was on his birthday, April Fool's Day, and he never forgot an anniversary for the next 69 years.
In 1949 they bought a small farm on Hill Road where they lived together for the next 63 years, doing a remarkable job raising their family of fourteen children.
In the early post-war years Richard purchased Boise Tile Company with his childhood friend, Paul Sandmeyer. In the early 1950's he went to work for Joe Albertson at the general offices at 16th and State in the bookkeeping department. Eventually he became the company's Chief Insurance Officer. He was an early member of the Idaho Risk Management Association and served a term as its president.
The Catholic Church has always been a big part of his life, being a member of St. Mary's Parish for more than 60 years. His children attended the grade school there and then went on to St. Theresa's Academy and Bishop Kelly High School.
Perhaps what most people will remember about Richard are the antique cars. His life-long hobby was the restoration of early autos and over the years he restored more than a dozen, including many Model-T's and Model-A's, as well as a 1922 Dodge Touring car, a 1929 De Soto and others. A perennial fixture in the 4th of July Parade in downtown Boise, he had the joy of chauffeuring local celebrities and dignitaries. He had many friends in the Model-A club and was often consulted by other collectors, club members and enthusiasts. Dick's last major project was building a 1925 Model T Huckster pickup, which he completed when he was 90 years old.
Richard is survived by his wife, Lila May Renk, sons Tom (Nancy) of Sandpoint, ID; Russell (Karen) of Sequim, WA; Dan, Ted (Dani), Ben (Jeff), and Tim (Janet), all of Boise; Nick (Janice), of Weiser, ID; Ed (Fran) of Ontario, OR; Rex (Angela) of Helena, MT; daughters Marie Vetsch (Frank) of Hailey, ID; Roselle Caesar of Sandpoint, ID; Alyssa Carter (Kelly) of Boise; Luci Li (Jarrod) of Shanghai, China. He is also survived by his sister, Rose Turner of Cocolalla, ID, as well as 29 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Laura, siblings Irene, Ruth, Olive, Evelyn, Helen, Henry (Hank) and Eldred, and by his special daughter, Julie Ellen.
The family would also like to express heartfelt thanks to the staff at the V.A. Hospital and Hearts for Hospice and Home for their care these past few weeks.
Most of all, Richard has been the bedrock of his family; and his children wish to acknowledge the privilege of having lived in the strength of his gentle care all these years.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Monday, June 11th, at 11:00 am; with burial to follow at Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise. A vigil service will be held at Cloverdale Funeral Home on Sunday, June 10th, at 5:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Idaho Food Bank or a charity of your choice.