Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Floyd Julian Renken passed away on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at the age of 101. Floyd was born on a farm north of Downs, KS, on September 11, 1922. He attended Oak Creek School until eighth grade and then began farming with his dad. He farmed throughout the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, witnessing the technological revolution of farming first-hand. As a young boy, he farmed using teams of horses, in the early 30s he purchased one of the first John Deere, metal-wheeled tractors to do custom farming for others, he ended his farming career driving in air-conditioned cabs of tractors with all the bells and whistles. He was fortunate to enjoy many years of successful farming, even helping his sons with harvest well into his 90s.
In 1942, shortly after the United States entered World War II, Floyd enlisted in the Army Air Corp. He was an airplane engine mechanic stationed in England, Italy, France, Germany, the Middle East, and Africa. His squadron dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines in the invasion of Normandy and pulled gliders to supply troops. His plane was one of the few that wasn’t hit during the invasion on D-Day. At the conclusion of the war, Floyd received an honorable discharge and returned to Downs where he continued farming. He remained a lifetime member of the VFW and enjoyed participating in many of the VFW activities over the years.
Floyd married Irene Nelson on October 19, 1952. They had five children together, Kathryn, David, Daniel, Steven, and Stuart. They were married for 64 years until Irene’s death in 2017. Floyd lived a full life. Apart from his passion for farming, he had many hobbies. His time in the Air Corp inspired him to get his pilot’s license. He purchased a Taylor Craft two-seater airplane and took off and landed in the field across the road from his house. He loved flying and would fly his plane over his land, waving the wings at his grandchildren, much to their delight. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. After his wife, Irene, passed, Floyd, at 95 years old, began cooking and baking for himself and his family as another hobby. He would often bring a cake or a pie he had baked to the family holiday celebrations or their frequent domino game nights. Floyd was a shrewd day-trader and loved nothing more than sitting at his computer trading his stocks, which he continued doing almost right up to the end. He greatly enjoyed his family and loved attending his grandchildren’s many extracurricular activities whether it be scholar bowl, track meets, football and basketball games, or band performances.
His faith was also very important to him, and he was a member of the Downs United Methodist Church. Floyd loved to travel. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Floyd was part of a group of farmers with the Farm Bureau who went to Russia to help them restructure their farms. He and Irene also traveled to Holland, Arizona, and Hawaii when they retired from farming. He visited Washington DC as part of the Kansas Veteran Honor Flight.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Josie Renken, his brother Earl Renken, sister, Hazel Renken Petty, his wife, Irene Nelson Renken, and son Stuart Renken.
Floyd is survived by his daughter, Kathryn Briscoe, and sons, David (Mary Lynn) Renken, Daniel Renken, and Steven Renken; grandchildren, Sherah McCurry, Wade Briscoe, Rachel (Tanner) Carpenter, Hannah (Jordan) Gilbert, Teah (Seth) Cornfield, Alex (Maddison) Renken, Shayne Renken, Briana (Drew) Ford; great-grandchildren, Breckin and Ryleigh Moore, Felix Briscoe, Quinn and Tate Carpenter, Cyrus Gilbert, Emilia Cornfield, Tavian and Breckin Ford.
Visitation will be from 5:30 - 7 pm., Thursday, October 19th at Schoen Funeral Home And Monuments of Downs. Funeral Services will be at 10 am, Friday October 20th, at Downs United Methodist Church. Interment will follow at Downs Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Downs United Methodist Church or Wounded Warriors, in care of Schoen Funeral Home And Monuments of Downs.
Downs United Methodist Church
1000 Morgan Ave., Downs KS 67437
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256