William (Bill) Ross Renning, age 80

William R. Renning

William (Bill) Ross Renning passed away January 8, 2017, in his home at Cherry Hills Estates Assisted Living Facility in Valentine, Neb., with family by his side after a battle with cancer.
He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 9, 1936.
His childhood years were spent between Des Moines, Long Beach, Calif., and Kadoka, S.D.
After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach in 1954, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955, where he was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
He was honorably discharged from the service in 1957 but remained active with the Army Reserve until 1963.
He attended Black Hills State College in Spearfish and graduated in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in education and eventually earned his master’s degree in education from Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.  
He married Barbara Evans in Kadoka on August 23, 1958. To this union were born two sons, David and Michael, and a daughter, Sara.
He started his teaching career in Harrison, Neb., where he also coached many sports including football, volleyball, wrestling, and track. He started the wrestling program at Sioux County High School and eventually took his entire team to the state meet.  He became widely known for his coaching style that had him always sitting on his chair yelling instructions and encouragement to his kids with hands cupped over his mouth – he learned this method the hard way as in one of his first meets while offering the encouragement to his kids, his false teeth flew out of his mouth – hence the cupped hands from that time forward. 
From Harrison, the family moved to Albion, Neb., in 1970 where he remained in education as a guidance counselor at the high school level.
In 1980, the family moved to Valentine where Bill started working in the insurance business.
Bill enjoyed officiating volleyball, wrestling and basketball over the years and was an avid golfer. He also loved to ice fish but his greatest joy was following his grandchildren in their athletic and school endeavors.
In his later years, he loved cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Valentine Badgers.
He received the Modern Woodman of America “Hometown Hero” award from Cherry Hills Assisted Living Facility in 2015 and was named the Badger “Fan of the Year” by the Badger Boosters in 2014. He became a common fixture in the events at the gym with his special seat in the corner on floor level – this allowed him to offer his advice to officials.  He was a strong supporter of the Valentine girls’ golf team up until his death.
Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons, David (Kathryn) Renning of Valentine, Michael (Michelle) Renning of Emerson, and daughter, Sara (Mike) Ferguson of Wood Lake, Neb; a sister, Joanne Scherer (Dick) of Grants Pass, Ore., a brother-in-law, John (Florence) Evans of Flandreau; seven grandchildren, Michala (Bryce) Anderson of Omaha, Neb., Jason Renning of Geneva, Neb., Mikenzie Carlson of Omaha, Max Renning of Emerson, Mason Renning of Emerson, Michelle Renning of Lincoln, Neb., and Lauren Ferguson of Wood Lake. He is also survived by two great-granddaughters, Lily and Sophia Carlson; and many nieces and nephews.
He will be greatly missed by his family and his friends.
Services were held Friday, Jan. 13, at the United Methodist Church in Valentine. 
Burial was held January 18 at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.  
Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of service arrangements. 

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