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Timothy B. Renken

January 16, 1938 June 20, 2021
Timothy B. Renken
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Obituary for Timothy B. Renken

PEORIA – Timothy B. Renken, 83, died on Sunday June 20 at 4:45 p.m. at Buehler Home, where he had been living since 2017.

Tim was born on Jan. 16, 1938 in Jefferson City, Mo. He was the middle of five children born to John and Aleda Renken. Tim graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in 1960, and joined the staff at the Jefferson City News Tribune where he covered sports.
In 1961 Tim met Shirley Linsenbardt when he went in for a physical at the doctor’s office where Shirley worked. After a six-month courtship, the pair were married in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lohman, Mo., the small town near Jefferson City where Shirley grew up.

The pair lived in Jefferson City until Tim was offered a job with the Department of Natural Resources in Lincoln, Neb. The pair did not live in Lincoln for long, however. About six months after taking the job, Tim got a call from the sports editor at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, asking if he would be interested in becoming the newspaper’s first outdoor editor. While in college Tim, an avid hunter and fisherman, had written an outdoor column, which made him a prime candidate for the job.
The offer was too good to turn down, so even though Shirley had just hung curtains in their new home, the pair packed up and moved to St. Louis. They lived in an apartment in Jennings until their first child, Timothy D., was born in 1964. They purchased their first home in Sunset Hills, where they lived for more
than 40 years. Their second child, Leslie, was born in 1967.

As the outdoor editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Tim wrote about hunting and fishing and other outdoor leisure activities, and reported on environmental issues as well. The job required him to travel, and over the years the Renken clan had some epic adventures. They took month-long camping trips to national parks all over the U.S. and Canada. The children did a lot of fishing, spending hours in an aluminum sport boat while Dad experimented with every type of fishing lure and bait imaginable. It was fun when the fish were biting, not so much when they weren’t.

Tim’s interests outside of work were many and varied, and his hobbies ebbed and flowed over the years. They included woodworking, literature, classical music, the guitar, photography, chess, racquetball, tennis, golf, skeet and trap, motorcycles and RV’s. He also had a life-long love of dogs, from the Brittany spaniels that were by his side on many hunting trips, to his final dog, an English cocker spaniel named Monty, who preceded Tim in death by a little more than a year.
While Tim always said he had the best job in the world, after more than 40 years he was ready to do something different. Immediately after retiring in 2003, Tim sold his boat and gave away all his fishing tackle. In 2004, Tim and Shirley moved to Peoria, Ill. to be close to their daughter, who, following in her father’s footsteps, was working at the Peoria Journal Star.

Tim and Shirley enjoyed retirement. They did a lot of traveling in their motorhome, visiting every antique store and flea market they found. Their favorite purchase was a broken piece of antique furniture Tim could rebuild in his downstairs woodshop, and then sell at their booth in the Pleasant Hill Antique Mall.

Tim was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Shirley, who died suddenly on Dec. 22, 2012. Also preceding him in death were his three siblings, John Renken, Ann Marshall, and Steve Renken. Tim is survived by his children, Timothy D. Renken of Minneapolis and Leslie Renken, of Peoria; sister Liz Boone, of St. Charles, Mo.; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto


Event Information

Cremation has taken place.

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