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Joseph A. Renner Sr.

Joseph A. Renner Sr., 81, of Belleville, IL, formerly of Freeburg, IL, born May 1, 1926, in Belleville, IL, died Tuesday, January 29, 2008, in the comfort of his family.

Joe was a graduate of Cathedral High School in Belleville, IL. He served in the United States Army in Europe in the 75th Infantry Division as a Staff Sergeant during World War II.  After the war, he came to work with his father and brothers in the family business of George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.  Joe was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Freeburg, IL, where he served as a Eucharistic minister.  He was a past organizing president for the St. Henry Seminary Parent-Teacher Organization and a Belleville Diocesan delegate to San Francisco for the papal visit.  He was a former member of the Freeburg Rotary and the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce; a former member of the Teamsters Union; and a 50-year member of Freeburg American Legion Post #550.  Joe was honored by the Belle-Scott Organization in 2002. He was also a past member of Belleville Elks Lodge 481 and a past member of the Freeburg Sportsman Club.  Mr. Renner was a past member of the St. Clair County Funeral Directors Association; the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, where he was recognized for 40 years of funeral service; and the National Funeral Directors Association.  Joe had also served as sexton of St. Joseph's Cemetery in Freeburg, IL.  He enjoyed working in his own yard to the point that it became the chosen photo spot for many Freeburg High School Prom Seniors.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George J. and Mary, nee Reichert, Renner; three brothers, David Renner, Daniel Renner in infancy, and John Renner; a sister and brother-in-law, Margaret "Peg" and Harold Berkel; a brother-in-law, Charles Glauber; and a sister-in-law, Joan Renner.

Surviving are his wife of 57 years, Rita F., nee Fournie, Renner, whom he married May 20, 1950, at St. Peter's Cathedral;

four children, Dr. Gregory (Karen) Renner of Columbia, MO,

Nina (Dr. William) Gerst of Belleville, IL,

Dr. Joseph Renner Jr. (Lori Dinga) of Belleville, IL,

and Carl (Andrea) Renner of Belleville, IL;

nine grandchildren, Christie, Kristin, Jodie, Greg, Jennifer,

Joseph, Tyler, Leah, and Drew;

a great-granddaughter, Gracyn;

three brothers, George (Virginia) Renner, Thomas Renner,

and James (Eileen) Renner, all of Belleville, IL;

two sisters, Mary Glauber of Mascoutah, IL,

and Teresa "Tottie" (Dr. Joseph) Bassler of Belleville, IL;

two sisters-in-law, Anne Renner Langenstein of Freeburg, IL,

and Rose Renner of Belleville, IL;

numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins;

and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Joseph's Parish Center Rebuilding Fund, to Family Hospice of Belleville Area, or to Hope Hospice of Fort Myers, FL.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2008, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home in Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, February 2, 2008, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Freeburg, IL.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 2, 2008, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Freeburg, IL, with Father Mark Reyling officiating.  Burial with full military honors will be held at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.

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Condolences Left For Joseph A. Renner Sr.

    I always enjoyed seeing Mr. Renner when I would go to visit Lori and Leah.  He always had a smile and a wave for everyone.  There is no doubt he is smiling and greeting everyone in Heaven.

    For the Family, my Prayer is for Comfort and Peace.

    Mary K. Wittmeyer, St. Louis, Missouri, 63146

    Dear Aunt Rita, Greg, Nina, Joe Jr., Carl, and Families,

    Heaven must be celebrating the arrival of another wonderful Renner and what a reunion must be occurring there!  

    Uncle Joe lit up this world with his smile and joy in living, love of family, pride in his home and yard, devotion to the family business and his faith, delight in people, love of children, sense of humor, and caring concern for others.

    My brothers and I will always treasures our visits to the Freeburg home: spending time in your warm and inviting home, fishing in the lake, walking the property with him, learning of the flowers and birds, or enjoying a big Renner celebration there.

    My heart aches to be with you for the funeral services, but my thoughts, prayers, and spirit are with all of you.  May the Lord bring you comfort and peace as He continues to walk with you during this bittersweet time.


                             With sympathy and love,


    Julie Berkel, , ,

    Rita,  I'm  with you in  spirit and prayer.   Frances & Pete Furlin also send their sympathy.  THeir card is in the mail.    No doubt  your husband Joseph is enjoying his heavenly reward.



    Sr. Catherine Wellinghoff, ASC, Johnston City, IL 62951, ,

    Dear Aunt Rita --- Our thoughts and prayers are with you today - we wish we could have made the trip to be there for you.  We are saddened by the loss of Uncle Joe, but also take comfort in knowing he has joined God's Angels in Heaven.  May you find peace in the memories and laughter shared in your lifetime together.  With Love, Rob & Dawn

    Rob & Dawn Fournie, Barrington, Illinois, 60010

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