Panesi, O’Rena G. Puetz
Rena Puetz Panesi, 93, passed away on July 22, 2013 in Centennial, CO following a short illness. Born in Junction City, KS, she is survived by her children, Patricia (Don) Fowler, Thomas (Sharon) Puetz, Marilyn (David) Barrere, Joan (Dave) Drummond, and Judith Puetz, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. She is also survived by her brother Robert Brant of Port Huenene, CA and her sister Marjorie Gallaway of Lexington, KY, both of whom she loved so dearly. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Little Sisters of Poor, Mullen Home for the Aged, 3629 W. 29th Avenue Denver, CO 80211, in Rena’s name. Rosary at Bullock Mortuary, 1375 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, at 7pm Thursday with Mass Friday at 1:00pm at All Souls Catholic Church, 4950 S. Logan, Englewood.
Rena had some truly amazing qualities. First and always foremost, was an unshakeable love of her family and friends. This quality was always at the forefront of everything she was and everything she did. She was so genuinely caring about all of our lives and would always ask if she could do anything to make our days easier. Anyone who met Rena was not a stranger for long. Within a few minutes she would know your name, about their family and their interests. She was so engaging to people she met, they knew about loving spirit immediately. Her ability to really listen to people and share feelings/ideas made for many lifelong friends of hers, including caregivers who maintained their friendships with her long after the need, such as nurses and the people who would deliver a daily meal to her. She was definitely a ‘people magnet’! A family friend stated the other day: “there are so few times in your live that when you meet somebody, you know that there was a special reason why you met them”.
She made tremendous sacrifices for her children while they were growing up. She took part-time jobs working in a creamery to pay for the orthodontic braces for them. There were always 3 cooked meals, clean house and laundry. She was the Girl Scout Leader for her daughters troops, summer swimming lessons and dance lessons on Saturdays. She would spend many many hours, often into the wee hours of the night, working downstairs on an old treadle sewing machine making beautiful costumes for dance recitals. She would often do without to make sure her children had all that they needed.
Her entire life, she loved to learn new things, had a very inquisitive mind and was a voracious reader. Rena started college at the age of 61 and completed her degree in Human Services and Behavioral Sciences at Metropolitan State College. Again, her ability to engage other people made her acceptance among a very much younger demographic easy for her and she made many friends while at College. It was hard to keep her in reading material, as she easily chewed through 3 books a week. This learning inquisitive nature of her’s made her jobs in market research for companies an easy fit. She loved a good novel, a good murder mystery, humorous books and biographies. This love of new experiences and knowledge shown in her through extensive international travel, cross country skiing for a number of years and as a Senior Olympic Medalist, winning 39 gold and silver swimming medals she proudly displayed in her dining room. She received her first computer at 80 years of age, mastering email, facebook and internet bridge. She would tackle any new challenge head first.
Besides being such a devoted, attentive and loving Mother, the job title she held dearest, she was very accomplished in other areas of her life. Whatever she decided to do, she did it. Life did not come to her, she went out and clobbered it. As stated, she started college as a senior citizen. She was a Master Graphoanalist working on question documents for court cases as well as a hiring consultant for companies. She had her own company in this area of work for a number of years. She belonged to the Alter and Rosary Society in the catholic parish she attended for many years and was active in fund raisers to procure funds for new building projects for the catholic school. She was politically involved in Englewood when city leaders wanted to tear down the public library and swimming pool and replace it with a shopping mall. Her attempts failed, but she made it to the front page of the Denver Post Newspaper! She also volunteered at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital for over 20 years helping people with brain and spinal cord injuries. She most recently was installed as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was so very proud to be inducted. A very very accomplished person!
Lastly, I would say that the word that comes to all of us, is that she was totally selfless. Family and friends always came first. Always wanting to make things right, better, brighter for everyone. She truly was one of God’s angels on earth and now, at last, has received her wings. The world was a better place for having this 5’2 ½ ( the half was always emphasized!) wonderful masterpiece of God’s work. She will be so greatly missed but always and forever in the hearts of many many people. Heaven is a richer place!