Rock Rapids, Iowa
Nellie Rens, age 88 of Rock Rapids, IA died Thursday, July 5, 2012 at the Rock Rapids Health Cenre in Rock Rapids, IA.
Memorial service will be 11:00 AM, Monday, July 9th at the Christian Reformed Church in Rock Rapids, IA, with Rev. Cliff Hoekstra officiating.
Committal service will be prior to the service on Monday at 9:30 AM, July 9th at Hope Community Cemetery in Hull, IA.
Visitation will be Sunday, July 8th from 2:00 to 8:00 PM, with the family present from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids.
Nellie Rens was born October 19, 1923 to Albert and Bertha (Wassink) Kraayenbrink, at their home in Sioux County, near Sioux Center, Iowa. Nellie had two sisters and one brother. She graduated from eighth grade with high honors. After her education she worked on the farm, cleaned and did sewing for neighbors.
On December 13, 1945 at the age of 22 she married John L. Rens, son of Lammert and Mary Rens of Hull, IA.
Nellie was always a hard working lady, helping with farming, raising her six children, gardening, canning, baking, sewing and family history.
In 1968 Nellie published her first Rens family book. The same year John and Nellie had a farm sale and moved to Rochester, MN, where Nellie managed a motel for nearly seven years. While living there she donated her time at the State Hospital for Bible and craft classes. In 1975 they moved to Windsor, CO, where she helped their son Lammert with his business. She made draperies for the customers.
In 1977 John and Nellie made the move back to Iowa where they purchased Jay’s Motel in Rock Rapids. In 1978 Nellie published her 2nd family book, the Kraayenbrink family book.
In nearly 18 years of owning and managing the motel, Nellie stayed very busy with making banners and started the newsletter for the church. Being a member of the Christian Reformed Ladies Aid, Christian Women, BPW Historical Society and Doll Club, she loved collecting dolls, making drapes for all the motel rooms, refinishing the wood work and wall papering.
In 1983 Nellie finished and published her 3rd book about the Rens Family Book. After retiring from the motel business, she, along with her husband John, made and sold crafts and published her 4th book, titled “When I Was A Girl”. Nellie always put God first and was happy with what she accomplished in her life time.
Nellie is survived by four sons, Albert (and friend Laurie Alesch) Rens of Ireton, IA, Lammert Rens of Spirit Lake, IA, Bernard (wife Gwyne) Rens of Gilbertsville, PA and Ronald (and friend Sandy) of Sioux Falls, SD; two daughters, Marilyn Vugteveen of Okoboji, IA and Donna (husband Trent) Fuoss of Rock Rapids, IA; thirteen grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; one brother-in-law, Ray Donkersloot of Brandon, SD; two sisters-in-law, Chris Rens of Hull, IA and Clarice Kraayenbrink; and many nieces, nephews and other extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Bertha Kraayenbrink; husband of 61 years, John L. Rens; two sisters, Alyda Donkersloot and Henrietta Hoogland; one brother, Arend Kraayenbrink; and a grandson-in-law, Sean Brock, who was killed while serving in Iraq.