James Renken: 1972-2021
James Renken, 49, of Menno, S.D., died on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, at his home of natural causes. James’s wishes were that there not be a public service. He will be cremated and a private family gathering will be held to honor him.
James was born on Sept. 1, 1972, in Aberdeen, S.D. to Jackie (Keena) and Jerry Renken. The family later moved to Menno, where James spent his formative years. The family relocated to Mitchell, S.D. in the late 1980s. Later as an adult, he moved back to Menno.
James was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance in his brain. While this created challenges in his life, it also gave him an unmatched perseverance to accomplish anything he put his mind too.
James had a passion for science fiction movies and books. Star Wars was his all-time favorite movie series. He collected memorabilia, would draw out the characters, and invent new characters.
James loved 80’s rock music. In his youth, he could be found recording tapes on his cassette player by holding it up to the TV while watching Friday Night Videos or next to the radio he kept in his room. He loved to create mix tapes for his family and friends.
James had many people in his life that helped him. Neighbors, friends, cousins, and counselors all contributed positively to his life. He often spoke about the generosity of those that helped him. We are grateful to everyone that extended a helping hand to him throughout the years.
James is survived by his parents; brothers, Josh (Tammy) Renken, Mitchell and Jared (Kathy) Renken, Sioux Falls, S.D.; nieces and nephews: Gage, Reed, Alli, Audie, Ana, and Ande; and best friend, Chad (Sara) Harrington, Sioux Falls.
He was proceeded in death by his maternal grandparents, Wanda and Joe Keena;
paternal grandparents, Fritz and Bernice Renken; and an aunt, Mary Murphy.