Leonard Henry Rentz, 84 of Paxton, formerly of Tuscola, passed away at 8:23 a.m. Saturday, April 3, 2021, at home.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Baier Family Funeral Services, 406 E. Pells St., Paxton, with the Rev. Debra Domeier officiating. Burial will follow in Tuscola Township Cemetery, Tuscola. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Leonard was born Sept. 18, 1936, in rural Paola, Kan., the son of Reinhold and Estella (Koelsch) Rentz; he was the second of four children in the family.
He attended elementary school at First Lutheran School in Paola and graduated from Paola High School in 1954. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1954-62. Leonard graduated from Murray State University in 1968, majoring in chemistry and math, with minors in Business Management and English. He later obtained a diploma as a Certified Nursing Assistant from Parkland College, Champaign.
Leonard married Carol Wilke in 1955 in Paola, Kan. They became the parents of three children, Ronnie, Debra and Carl. Ronnie died in 1979 and Carol died in 1994. He married Karen Flessner Foster in 2009 in Paxton. She survives.
Along with his wife, Karen, he is survived by his daughter, Debra Rentz (John Gutekanst) of Athens, Ohio; his son, Carl Rentz of Tuscola; two grandsons, Sam and Jacob Gutekanst of Athens, Ohio; his sister, Irene Shumway of Pratt, Kan.; his sister-in-law, Leona Rentz of Paola, Kan.: his daughter-in-law, Janice Metcalf of Atwood; three stepchildren; eight stepgrandchildren; one step-great-grandson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Leonard worked for 24 years as senior chemist for U.S. Industrial Chemical Company in Tuscola. He later worked part time at various jobs including driving a mail truck for Taylor Mail Service and other mail contractors and doing seasonal farm work for Duane and Mark Brian for 33 years.
He later volunteered at CU Dialysis for 15 years and was honored for contributing over 10,000 volunteer hours (this is where Karen and Leonard met).
Leonard enjoyed sports. He was a Kansas City Royals fan, coached Little League baseball for seven years and played slow-pitch softball until he was 45 years old.
Leonard was a former member of Kiwanis in Tuscola, where he was honored as Kiwanian of the Year, and a former member of the American Chemical Society. He was a member of the I&I Antique Tractor Club and First Lutheran Church, Paxton, where he sang in the choir. Singing in the choir was his passion.
His hobby was buying, restoring and showing antique farm tractors. Leonard enjoyed traveling and had visited all 50 U.S. states and 12 foreign countries. He and his son, Carl, attended a baseball game at every major league ballpark.
Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church, Paxton, or the I&I Antique Tractor Club. Please share your memories and condolences with the family at baierfuneralservices.com.