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Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of NY, Inc
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Renate Iwaniuk was a blessing to everyone she met. She was a kindhearted and compassionate woman who was German through and through. Upon meeting her, it was easy to see that Renate’s life was based on something different, something deeper, and that something was her faith. She was a devoted wife and mother who took great pride in caring for her family. Later in life she was overjoyed to welcome grandsons, Andrew and Simon, into the family, too. Although Renate will be deeply missed, she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved one will forever treasure.
Daily life in Germany was anything but easy during the 1930s as Hitler was gaining power and gaining momentum in his control over the German people. Persecution was already commonplace, and the German youth were being indoctrinated. Despite the trials around them, Franz Wilhelm and Lina Maria (Radtke) Neufang were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they welcomed a healthy baby girl into their hearts and home on March 1, 1935. Renate Helga was the only child in her family, and the hardships continued while she was a young girl. When WWII covered their country, she was caught searching for food in a Russian military camp. Thankfully, they let Renate go because she was so young. Sadly, Renate’s mother died when she was 10. She did attend some school there, but it was after living in the United States that she earned her GED. In her 20s, she studied the Bible and became a Jehovah’s Witness and stopped celebrating the holidays. She did, however, commemorate the death of Christ by celebrating the Memorial annually, which she will miss on the 23rd of March this year.
Life became very exciting for Renate when she met the young man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was George Iwaniuk, and they were introduced through a mutual friend and corresponded for courtship. Renate and George were married on July 2, 1965, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Soon after, they came to the United States and settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Renate was primarily a homemaker, but she also worked at American Bread Company. Together she and George were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Susanne. Renate was a fantastic cook, especially when it came to classic German dishes. She was also willing to cater to her husband’s meal requests no matter how strange they might have been.
In addition to caring for her family, Renate enriched her life in other ways, too. She faithfully served as a Jehovah’s Witness, and her most treasured possession was her Bible. Renate enjoyed both opera and big band music, and she loved eating German food at the Schnitzelbank in Grand Rapids. As a family they weren’t able to travel all that often, but they did take one trip to Canada and traveled some up North. Renate and Sue took a memorable trip to Germany, and during her retirement years she was able to travel a bit more with Annemarie, her best friend.
A hardworking woman who was eager to serve, Renate Iwaniuk impacted the lives of those around her in such a positive way. She was loving and generous with a sweet demeanor about her that drew others near with ease. Renate was a deeply faithful woman, and she gave her daughter the greatest gift any parent can give by instilling Godly wisdom within her. Dearly loved, Renate will be forever missed.
Iwaniuk – Renate H. Iwaniuk aged 80, of Walker, passed away on February 25, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, George in 2003. Renate is survived by her daughter, Sue Resczenko; grandsons, Andrew Resczenko and Simon Resczenko; and many friends. She was a faithful servant of Jehovah for almost 60 years. Renate would have encouraged you to learn more about Jehovah at www.jw.org. A Memorial Service will be held at 7 PM on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2129 Wilson Ave NW. The family will receive visitors from 6-7 pm at the Hall. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of NY, Inc., 25 Columbia Heights Brooklyn, NY 11201 or online at www.jw.org. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Renate’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.