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Bertha Marie "Grandma Bea" Cogbill Renner
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Birth: Jan. 5, 1923
Maple Creek
Saskatchewan, Canada
Death: May 2, 2004
Yakima County
Washington, USA

Bertha Marie (Bea) Renner

SELAH - Bea Renner, 81, passed away on Sunday, May 2, 2004 in Selah after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, January 5, 1923, Bea was one of six children raised in a rural farming community where she learned the values of hard work and perseverance, although her intellect and poise far exceeded her minimal sixth grade education... a common occurrence among depression era farm children. She later served in the Royal Canadian Air Force which gave her the chance to travel across Canada and much of the United States. She also learned computer operations which eventually became her career.

She moved to the U.S. in 1949 and worked for IBM in San Francisco. It was there she met the love of her life, Vernon Renner, an Army Corporal stationed at the Presidio. After Vernon's tour of service was done, the two were married on April 18, 1954 and moved to Vernon's Wichita, Kansas hometown where they settled and started a family. Bruce Aaron was born on April 19, 1957, but shortly thereafter the family would be forced to move back to California and make a home in Los Angeles where Vernon would receive the best possible medical care for heart problems stemming from a childhood bout with Scarlet Fever. Dale Alan, their second son, was born in Santa Monica on June 11, 1962. Vernon spent most of the next two years in and out of hospitals and finally succumbed to heart failure on September 10, 1964, just two days after his 40th birthday.

The couple had discussed Vernon's health issues during their courtship and Bea knew the potential outcome. Her love was true and she chose to marry him, even though it could mean losing him much too soon. This fact is an incredible testament to the strong, amazing and dedicated woman that she was. She never remarried and wore her wedding ring every day of her life for the next 40 years, until just weeks ago when her frail fingers simply couldn't hold it any longer.

Bea was a wonderful mother and went on to raise her two sons in a loving and stable home, never openly reflecting on her own heartache. After several happy years in Morro Bay, a quaint central California harbor town, the family eventually moved to Selah, WA, in 1973 to be close to Les Jesperson, a cherished cousin and childhood companion, and his family.

She became a very proud grandmother in 1994 upon the birth of "her girl," Madeline Rose. "Her boys," Christian Dale and Samuel Adam were born in 1996 and 1997 respectively. Her grandchildren were the light in her life. Even in the late stages of her illness she could remember them and would light up with a bright smile anytime they were around her.

Bea, herself, had a long list of skills and talents such as gardening, sewing, restoring antique furniture and painting. She worked for Tree Top in Selah while both sons attended and graduated from Selah High School. She retired in 1988 but her giving nature quickly got the best of her, and she enrolled in the volunteer program at (then) St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where she logged nearly 5,000 hours of dedicated, cost-free service for more than ten years, much of that as a liaison between surgery patients and anxious families awaiting information regarding their loved-ones - a need she experienced first-hand during her husband's illness and eventual passing. Then, the early signs of Alzheimer's began to limit her ability.

Bea will be dearly missed by Madeline, Christian, and Sam, their parents - her son Dale and his wife, Kris all of Selah; son, Bruce; brothers, Jack (& Rhoda) Cogbill, Cecil (& Marge) Cogbill all of Canada; and a sister, Elva Speers of Los Alamitos, CA. Bea was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister, Ileane Burtch, and a brother, Herb Cogbill.

Mom - thank you for your love, for showing us how to face challenges with dignity, and for being such a fine example of living life with grace. God Bless You.

A very heartfelt thank you to the caring staff of Selah Convalescent and Riverview Manor. Also, a special thank you to her brother Jack Cogbill and his wife Rhoda of Grand Forks, B.C. for their loving attention to their cherished sister for many decades. (I did notice...)

A memorial service celebrating Bea's life will be held on Friday, May 7, 2004, 3:00 p.m. at Shaw and Sons.
Family links: 
  Vernon L Renner (1924 - 1964)*
  Bruce Aaron Renner (1957 - 2004)*
*Calculated relationship
Wenas Cemetery
Yakima County
Washington, USA
Created by: Bonnie
Record added: Aug 31, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21275423
Bertha Marie Grandma Bea <i>Cogbill</i> Renner
Added by: Dale Renner
Bertha Marie Grandma Bea <i>Cogbill</i> Renner
Added by: Bonnie
Bertha Marie Grandma Bea <i>Cogbill</i> Renner
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Leslie MITCHELL Smith
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