A graveside service and interment for Virginia Ann (Froerer) Renken was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 3, 2017, at Center Grove Cemetery, Westboro, Missouri. Reverend Glenn Scott officiated. Services were under the direction of Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio.
Virginia was born on Christmas Day, 1933, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Her father was a civil engineer, and the family moved from Scottsbluff, where Mr. Froerer helped design the national monument there, to Kansas City, and finally to Jefferson City, Missouri, where he helped design the bridge spanning the Missouri River. Virginia and her family lived on Greenberry Road, down the street from a family named Renken, whose oldest son was named John. Virginia graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri with a degree in mathematics. She and John Renken were married on June 5, 1955.
The couple began their married life in Lemont, Illinois, where both of their daughters were born. They returned to Missouri in 1971, first living in Jefferson City and then moving to a farm in Moniteau County. Virginia worked at the Missouri Farm Bureau, first in the finance department and then as Personnel Director. Virginia then began her second career, managing the Old Home Place Orchard and raising apples from the more than 800 trees that she and John planted. When John and Virginia purchased the farm it was worn down from erosion and neglect. Like every other home they lived in and cared for, the farm on Route T became a garden spot. John and Virginia restored their home place over 40 years of loving care, and after their family, improving the farm was a main source of satisfaction and pride.
Virginia passed away in Fairfax, Missouri, on June 28, 2017. She was preceded in death by her parents and John, her husband of 61 years. She is survived by a brother, Dean Froerer, his wife Carolyn of Seattle, Washington, two daughters, Julie (Blake) Hurst of Tarkio, Missouri, and Laura Renken (Mark Lampe) of St. Louis, Missouri. Virginia is also survived by three grandchildren, Lee (Ryan) Harms and Ann (Matt) Schlueter of Tarkio, and Ben (Kenzie) Hurst of Kansas City, Missouri. Virginia has six great-grandchildren: Abbie and Gabe Harms, Aaron, Lizzie, and Josh Schlueter, and Levi Hurst.
Pictures often fail to capture truth, but pictures of Virginia captured her essence. She and Johnny had a great romance, one only interrupted by his death a month before her passing, and that love, both given and received, was clear in every picture of Virginia. She loved her family and her farm; she and Johnny built a marriage that was a thing of beauty, a union that is and will always be an inspiration to everyone who had the good fortune and the blessing to share in that love and devotion. Ginger and Johnny are again one, and those they leave behind are better in every way for a love story that began so long ago on Greenberry Road.
Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, California, Missouri, or Powell Gardens, Kingsville, Missouri. Online condolences may be left at www.minterfuneralchapels.com.