Obituary of Mary Ellen Gallagher Renz
Mary Ellen Gallagher Renz, 95, of Winter Haven died on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, after a lengthy battle with dementia. It was almost exactly 20 years after the passing of Kendrick O. Renz, her husband of 54 years.
Mary Ellen was born in Huntington, IN and graduated first in her class at Huntington Catholic High School. She and Ken married in 1948 and raised 5 children with stops in Allentown, NJ, Pittsburgh, PA, and Arlington Heights, IL. They retired to Orchid Springs in 1980.
Mary Ellen was a loving mother and a doting grandmother. She was a devout Catholic who spent innumerable hours volunteering at Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church in Arlington Heights and at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Winter Haven. She was presented the Volunteer of the Year award by the parish in 2008, although it just as easily could have been a “decade” award.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her husband Ken, her parents Frank and Estelle Gallagher, her step-father Arthur Zahn, her two sisters Evelyn McNeal and Nancy Dillon, and her two brothers Thomas and Robert.
She is survived by her children Deborah of Winter Haven, Greg (Bridget Sheridan) of Milwaukee, WI, Brian (Jane) and Daniel (Kristin) of Lakeland, and Lora (David) Karas of Tampa, her grandchildren Jessica, Jeffrey (Irene), Taylor and Jenna Karas, Taryn, Colin (Sierra) and Aislinn, and her great granddaughter Simone.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, April 25, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Winter Haven. Memorials may be made to St. Matthew parish or to your favorite charity.
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