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DENNIS "DENNY" RENKEN was born on July 9, 1954 to Heinz and Helene (Anderson) Renken in Tyler, Minnesota. Denny was the 5th of 6 Renken siblings. As a youngster he was always ready to play. When he was able to carry a bucket, he had chores to do on the farm. When he could carry rocks, he was rock picking. When he could wield a machete, he walked the bean field cutting corn out of the rows. One of his fondest memories is of a time when he and his mother did the chores together.
Denny was really good with little ones, playing with them for hours on the rope swing or in the little red wagon. His love of children carried with him his entire life.
Denny started school at the Arco Public School and graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1973, where he loved playing sports, especially football.
Denny was working at the Arco Grain Elevator when he met Carol Howard. The two were married on June 20, 1980 in Arco, MN, and made their life there until they moved to Tyler, MN, in 1984. Throughout the next 30 years, Denny and Carol owned several successful businesses: Denny’s Backhoe and Tiling, Oliver’s, and the Brick Manor Steakhouse. After each business was sold, Denny began his dream career of farming his family’s land in Arco until he retired in October 2020.
Denny was large in stature and in heart. Our “gentle giant” would drop anything to help family or friends. He filled the room with his boisterous laughter and quick wit, but he was also tender-hearted and would often shed a tear while telling a story, recalling a memory, or watching a commercial. He enjoyed playing cards, softball, bowling, shooting darts, and was good at everything he did, but he will be remembered most for his strong work ethic, his cooking, his signature pink shirt, his Santa skills, his generosity, and his love for his grandkids. Nothing brought him more pride than his son and grandsons carrying on the Renken name.
Dennis passed away early on Sunday, October 30, 2022, in his home with the love of his life by his side.
He is survived by his wife, Carol of Tyler, MN; his daughter, Holly of Sioux Falls, SD; and son, Dan (Corinne) of Ivanhoe, MN; grandchildren Chase, Dylan, Austin, Mercy, and Nordene; brothers, Mike (Cindy) of LaCrosse, WI, Terry (Norma) of Arco, MN, and Ron (Jeanie) of Lakeland, MN; sisters, Mary (Mike) Borman of Aurora, CO, and Kathy (Pat) Renken of Monroe, NE; brothers-in-law, Mike (Barb) Howard of Fargo, ND, David (Renita) Howard of Sherman, TX , Jimmy (Lucy) Howard of Lake Wylie, SC, and Scott (Amy) Howard of Mayer, MN; many nieces, nephews, cousins, honorary grandchildren; his cat P.I.T.A; and throngs of friends he met on his journey through life.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Heinz and Helene; and his parents-in-law, Jim and Kay Howard.
We know his reunion with them will be sweet, but we will all miss him dearly until we meet again.
Memorials will be directed to the: Ivanhoe Ambulance Service, Ivanhoe Fire Department, and Arco Fire Department.
Thursday, November 3, 2022
4:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
Thursday, November 3, 2022
Starts at 7:00pm (Central time)
Friday, November 4, 2022
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
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