RENA FORD was born the third of eight children to Laurens and Antje (Oostra) Gorter on September 14, 1920 in Doon, Iowa where she was raised. While in their home, her family would speak their Dutch language. Mornings always began with prayer and then Bible study. She attended Doon Christian School and then Doon High School, becoming the only one of her siblings to graduate. In 1936, Rena moved to Long Beach, California with her Uncle Dick Bouma where she worked at Douglas Aircraft. On March 18, 1944, she was united in marriage to Laban Harold Ford in Bellflower, California. Following their marriage, they lived in California until 1952 when they moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Rena worked for Boeing. In 1971, they moved to Warner Robins, Georgia, and Rena worked at Warner Robins Air Force Base. After their divorce in August, 1972, Rena continued to live in Georgia. In 1978, she was forced to stop working because of her back problems. In 1989, she moved to Hardwick, Minnesota to be closer to her family. In 2008, Rena became a resident of the Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton, Minnesota, where on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the age of 100 years and 16 days, she went to be with her Lord.
As a child, Rena was baptized in Doon, Iowa and attended the Christian Reformed Church there. Later on as an adult she was baptized again at the Methodist Church in Warner Robins, Georgia. Her minister there brought back holy water from the holy land. After moving to Edgerton, she became a member of the Bethel Christian Reformed Church. She was also a member of the Eastern Star. She loved to travel, and she was an avid reader. She enjoyed staying busy. She liked to play games and puzzles, especially Scrabble and Skip-Bo, which she played often with her grandkids. Rena played several musical instruments including the piano, organ and accordion. As a young adult, she wanted to be a pilot. When she worked for McDonald Douglas, she had the opportunity to get her pilot's training but she decided she wanted to have a family instead.
She is lovingly remembered by her two sons, Harold LeRoy Ford of Philomath, Oregon, and Randy (Peggy) Ford of Wichita, Kansas; five grandchildren, Tamra Cihla, Jennifer (Mike) Borgelt, Christy Ford and Dustin Ford; seven great-grandchildren, A.J. Cihla, Katie Cihla, Cheyenne Ford, Caelan Ford, Kaitlyn Borgelt, Austin Borgelt and Jackson Borgelt; and her sister, Mary Van Hofwegen of Edgerton. She was preceded in death by her son, John Ford; grandson, Damon Ford; parents; two sisters, Ruby Gorter and Ann Stevens; and four brothers, Lawrence "Doc" Gorter, Clarence Gorter, Peter Gorter and John Gorter.