Rena was preceded in death by all her siblings; most recent was Ruth Dempster of Fresno, Calif. who died on May 4, 2012. Her other siblings were Sybil Firkovich and (Doc), Margaret Hubbard and (Chester), Claude Ellis and (Dolly) and Ray Ellis.
Rena is survived by many nieces and nephews, plus great nieces and nephews and one great-great-great niece. She attended the First Methodist Church for many years which she was very active and a member of the Climbers Sunday School class, who always stayed in touch with her through cards on special occasions.
Rena was a school teacher for many years, teaching in the St. Louis area and later retiring from the Bloomington Elementary School in Bloomington, Illinois. She then moved back to Dexter where she continued to work for her sister and husband with the Dexter News Agency. Rena volunteered at several places winning the Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award in 1992. She also did private home health with several clients.
When ill health set in, she moved to Central Gardens for about four and half years, later needing a skilled home, she moved to Ratliff Care Center in Cape Girardeau where she was known as the little lady in the caps, she loved to wear, always friendly and though partially blind, she wheeled daily all over the home.
Through her last several years, her niece, Becky Almond and husband Mike, who helped oversee her and help keep her life alive by talking about her past accomplishments, relatives and her love for people. She was given a special 99th Birthday Party and when the group sang Happy Birthday she patted the table with the beat of the song and then raised her hands and clapped with a big smile of appreciation.
Rena was buried in the Essex Cemetery in Essex on Thursday, May 31, 2012, with private family graveside rites.