Cover photo for Paul W. Renich's Obituary
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1919 Paul 2012

Paul W. Renich

May 5, 1919 — February 16, 2012

Paul William Renich died February 16, 2012 at Schowalter Villa. He was born on May 5, 1919 at La Junta, Colorado, the son of Edward Alexander Renich and Anna (Andres) Renich.

Paul grew up in Newton and worked with his family at the Renich Family Dairy in Newton during the 20’s and 30’s. He graduated from Newton High School in 1935 and Bethel College in 1942. He and Roberta Enns were married May 15, 1943 in Inman, Kansas.

Paul served in the United States Navy from 1944-1946 on an LST in the Pacific theater. He served as navigator and with great pride, noted being able to navigate if he could find “just two stars”. After his service, he returned to the University of Kansas where he earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1949.

Paul and his family moved to Salina, KS in 1948 and he served as Professor of chemistry from 1948-1973 at Kansas Wesleyan University, Academic Dean from 1951-1969, and President from 1969-1973. From 1973-1984, Paul taught at Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence. In both academic environments, Paul guided accreditation efforts and during this time also served as an evaluator for the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. He continued his interest in education after retirement, volunteering in the Bethel College chemistry lab for 25 years from 1984 to 2009, retiring a second time at age 90.

Paul received numerous honors, and was recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for post-doctoral study in the philosophy of science (1954), the Excellence in Teaching award from Haskell Indian Jr. College (1983), induction into the Kansas Wesleyan Hall of Fame (1986), the Bethel College Outstanding Alumnus award (2001). He belonged to Sigma Xi (honorary science), Alpha Chi Sigma (chemistry), Phi Lambda Upsilon (honors chemistry), and Sigma Pi Sigma (honors physics).

His public service included chairman of the Saline County School Unification board, Chair of the Salina Urban Renewal committee, an active volunteer in many positions in the Methodist church, along with his service to Bethel College.

In later years Paul enjoyed gardening (he was known as Mr. Sweet Potato at Showalter Villa) and an annual “baking of the peppernuts” with grandchildren.

Paul is survived by his wife of 68 years, Roberta Enns Renich and their children Rebekah Lynch (Johnstown, CO), Stephen Renich and Cheryl (Salina, KS), and Thomas Renich and wife Janet (Shawnee, KS). Grandchildren include Tamara Lynch Piatt and her husband David Piatt (Highlands Ranch, CO), Nicole Lynch (Johnstown, CO), Kristel Renich (Olathe, KS), and Sarah Renich Small and husband Darin (Olathe, KS). Great grandchildren are Emma Grace and Gavin Piatt and Kamryn Alainah Small.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers (John, David, Herman, Fred, and Ed), three sisters (Kay, Elisabeth, and Margaret). He is survived by his brother Waldo of Columbia, MD.

Friends may call at the funeral home, Monday, from 1:00-4:00 P.M.

Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., Monday, February 20th, at Schowalter Villa Chapel in Hesston, 200 W. Cedar, Hesston, Kansas.

Graveside service will be Tuesday, February 21st, at 11:00A.M. at the North Inman Cemetery, Inman, Kansas.

Memorial Service will follow at 2:00 P.M. at the Hesston United Methodist Church, 600 N. Ridge Road, Hesston, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift to Bethel College or Kansas Wesleyan are suggested.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul W. Renich, please visit our flower store.


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