The Odessa Record -

Meet your neighbor

Lois Renken


Another beautiful day in paradise, and today I was privileged to have a wonderful visit with Lois Renken. She was born in 1933 in Kellogg, Idaho and grew up in Spokane Valley with her parents Mark and Esther Owen. In 1946, she moved with her parents to Moses Lake, where her father got a job as fire chief at Moses Lake Air Force Base, later known as Larson Air Force Base. When Lois was in the second half of her junior year in high school she moved again with her parents to Ephrata, where she graduated the next year. After graduation she went to work as an operator for Pacific Northwest Telephone and Telegraph company.

She married Ron Renken in 1952. Ron enlisted in the air force for four years, and they were married soon after he was discharged. They lived in Ephrata, where Ron worked at NAPA for 14 years and at Robinson Thomas Motors for six years and eventually retired as the Ephrata Fire Marshal. Four children were born to that union, Diane Nelson of Sagle, Idaho, Linda Boyd of Ephrata, Ron, Jr. of Soap Lake, and Chris Crossley of Odessa, whose husband, Bill is the mayor of Odessa. Lois has 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Two of the grandchildren, Halee Walter and Kassidy Crossley, live in Odessa along with four great grandchildren. Lois worked for 31 years for the phone company and retired in 1988. In 1999, Lois and Ron moved to Odessa, mainly because their daughter Chris was living here. She says she loved it then, and she still loves it now. Two years after their move Ron became ill and spent the rest of his life in the nursing home in Odessa. She told me while he was there some of his friends would pick him up and take him golfing. Over the years, when he couldn't get out much, she said the late Pastor Tim Hauge would get him from the nursing home and take him to spend the day with her at home and in the evening would take him back until his passing in 2009.

Some of Lois's hobbies when she was younger were knitting, crocheting, cooking and baking. She belonged to the Buzzin' Dozen homemakers club, and they had a lot of fun. She also liked going camping with her husband.

These days she keeps busy playing cards and bunco, is active in her church and loves spending time with family. Lois loves the community and the friendships here in Odessa and says the potlucks are terrific! She is also the secretary of the senior citizen group the Prime Timers which meets at the Old Town Hall. So if you haven't had the privilege of meeting this lovely lady, stop by the Old Town Hall one day during the senior lunch hour and say hello. Until next time...

Enjoy life!


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