Elnerva  Rentz
Elnerva Ruth Rentz, 89, was carried into the presence of the Lord on October 16th 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Elnerva was born to Rev. Gustav Elner Forssell and Minerva (Okerstrom) Forssell in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the 4th of July 1930, and for many years she thought the fireworks were for her birthday. Elner and Minerva blended their Swedish names to create the name of their eldest daughter. "Elnerva" means God's wisdom; they named her well!
Raised in Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa, Elnerva was part of the 1948 graduating class of Estherville High School in Iowa. A talented musician, Elnerva played piano and saxophone and had a beautiful singing voice. She performed in high school plays and played guard on the girls' basketball team. Elnerva enjoyed sports all her life. At the age of 16 Elnerva trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord.
Elnerva went to Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she received an Associate of Arts Degree. At Bethel she met a dashing upperclassman, Jim Rentz, who was studying to be a pastor. Jim sang in the Bethel Men's Quartet and was immediately attracted to Elnerva's musical talents. Throughout their 68 years of marriage, she played the piano and harmonized beautifully with Jim in so many ways! Their life was a duet to the glory of God. Their first date was at a conference on world missions. They married in 1951 and went on to serve churches in Alcester, South Dakota; Chicago, Illinois; Muskegon, Michigan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Grace Baptist Church in Newhall, California, and 3 churches in Arizona: Grace Community Church in Tempe, First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes, and North Phoenix Baptist Church. One Bible verse God impressed on their lives was Psalm 34:3, "Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together."
Elnerva blessed each congregation with her musical talents as pianist and organist, with her communication and organizational skills as church secretary, in helping with church services, events, and activities, and with generous and loving hospitality in her home. In addition, over the years, Elnerva worked for an interior designer, as a substitute teacher, and gave piano lessons in the home. Elnerva and Jim led church tours all over the world, including three trips to Israel, and trips to Japan and Korea to visit family.
As a mom, mother-in-law, grandma, and great-grandmother, Elnerva was unequaled; kind hearted, warm and gentle, generous, joyful and fun-loving, always ready to listen or offer sage advice when needed. Elnerva faithfully prayed throughout the day, every day. Elnerva's favorite hymn was "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and her fervent prayers were lifted to a faithful God.
Elnerva is survived by her husband of 68 years, Dr. James Rentz and her sons, Stephen Rentz (Beverly), David Rentz (Heidi) and Mark Rentz (Barbara), her grandchildren, Lindsey Grimes (Matt), Heather Rentz, Joanna Wood (Derek), Natalie Rentz (Kieran), Isaac Rentz (Kate), and Anna McDonnell (Brad) and 12 great-grandchildren, her sister, Elnerine Johnson (Ken) and several nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her two younger brothers, Elmin Aaron and Elner James.
A Memorial Service will be celebrated on Saturday, November 23 at 10:30 am at the First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes, 9535 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ, 85248. There will be a viewing from 9:00 am. Interment will follow at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery in Chandler, Arizona. Those wishing to remember Elnerva in a special way may contribute to the Lottie Moon Missionary Christmas Offering at First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes or at: www.sbcsl.org (write a note: Lottie Moon offering in memory of Elnerva).
Published on November 13, 2019


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