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Helen Renner

Jan. 10, 1921-Dec. 16, 2008

Helen M. Renner, 87, a retired teacher and longtime Rochester resident, died Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at the St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester.

Helen was born Jan. 10, 1921 in Perham, and lived on the family farm near Perham until graduating from high school in 1938. She attended St. Cloud State Teachers' College until 1940, and from 1940-42 taught in a district school near St. Cloud while training student teachers from the college. From 1942-49, she taught primary grades in various city schools in northern Minnesota.

Helen married Robert Renner of Pelican Rapids in 1949, and they had lived in Rochester since that time. She continued her education, receiving a bachelor's degree from Winona State University. She loved teaching first grade at Folwell School in Rochester for 20 years. She retired in 1987, but continued tutoring primary children and teaching reading and math for eight years. She was a member of SEMEA, REA, MEA, the American Legion and VFW Auxiliaries, and St. Suzanna's Women's Circle of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Survivors include three sons, William (Patricia) Renner of Kent, Wash., Jeffrey Renner of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Edward (Tami) Renner of Erin, Wis.; a daughter, Elizabeth Renner of Rochester; two grandsons; and a sister, Ruth Schieb of Breckenridge.

Preceding Helen in death were her husband Robert (1963); a brother, William; and a sister, Marie Fridgen.

A funeral mass was held Saturday, Dec. 20 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Rochester, with Monsignor Gerald Mahon officiating. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.

Macken Funeral Home of Rochester was entrusted with arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to the St. Joseph's School for Native American Children of Chamberlain, S.D.; or a charity of the donor's choice.