A love of her family, love of Jesus, and love of laughter comprised Barb’s life until her final days on earth. Known for finding humor in almost everything and her prolific use of extravagant adjectives, Barbs merriment and appreciation for the little things in life defined her. While her last several months were marked by pain and hardship, she maintained a sense of humor and complimentary spirit with her family, friends, and hospice nurses and staff until the end.
On September 15th, 2020, surrounded by her children, Barb surrendered all of her loves and laughter on earth to her joyful anticipation of being with her greatest love of all, Jesus.
Barb was born April 12th, 1952, in Byron Center, Michigan to Hap and Marian Daining. The middle of five children, she grew up in the same home until after graduating high school, when she married Donald Renkema in 1972. Together they had five children and moved their family to remote West Kootenai, Montana to raise them.
Barb was a busy homemaker and served her rural community as an EMT for many years, providing emergency services often single handedly before transporting patients to a higher level of care. She later moved into Eureka and worked for years performing health reviews for approval of new septic systems.
Barb enjoyed her annual hunting adventures with her lady friends, usually bagging far more laughs than game. She played a mean game of hand and foot with her kids for years. She loved to travel, enjoying out of state gatherings with her siblings, and even spent time ministering in Ethiopia among the sick and impoverished. In recent years she had fun with weekly games of dominos with friends as well as hanging out and laughing with friends in her apartment complex.
Barb is survived by her children, Becky (Sean) Cox of Kalispell, Matt Renkema of Eureka, Brian (April) Renkema of Franktown, Colorado, Chris Renkema of Eureka, and Heidi (Dallas) Pluid of Eureka; her nine grandchildren who she adored: Madison, Hannah, Logan, Brianna, Brenden, Tighe, Carsen, Jaxon, and Kennidy; her siblings: Kathy (Jerry) DeHaan, Mary (Dennis) Steenwyk, Robert (Nellie) Daining, and Joyce (Jerry) Haase; her many friends and beloved dog, Lucy.
There will be a celebration of Barb’s life at Lake Koocanusa, Abayance Bay, September 26th at 1:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, family requests consideration of donation in Barb’s memorial to ministry in Ethiopia: Strong Hearts International, PO Box 3239, Alexandria, VA, 22302; strongheartsinternational.org.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Renkema, please visit our floral store.