2007.03.15: March 15, 2007: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Obituaries: PCC Courier Online: Obituary for Ethiopia RPCV Claudette Renner

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia : Peace Corps Ethiopia: Newest Stories: 2007.03.15: March 15, 2007: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Obituaries: PCC Courier Online: Obituary for Ethiopia RPCV Claudette Renner

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Obituary for Ethiopia RPCV Claudette Renner

Obituary for Ethiopia RPCV  Claudette Renner

It was natural for Claudette Renner, who passed away Feb. 6, to find ways to help others. She dedicated her life to helping others who couldn't help themselves. She was an active member of the Peace Corps volunteering in Ethiopia from 1965-1967. After Africa, she came back to the United States as a social worker in the Appalachian Mountains.

Obituary for Ethiopia RPCV Claudette Renner

Lab Coordinator Passes Away
Claudette Renner Battled Pancreatic Cancer For Two Years

Christine Calvo, Copy Editor

It was natural for Claudette Renner, who passed away Feb. 6, to find ways to help others. She dedicated her life to helping others who couldn't help themselves. She was an active member of the Peace Corps volunteering in Ethiopia from 1965-1967. After Africa, she came back to the United States as a social worker in the Appalachian Mountains.

Renner, who grew up in the Midwest, had a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of St. Louis. Her friend of 23 years, Julie Miller, said that Renner felt she couldn't stay in the Peace Corps for too long because she felt "frustrated" by the poverty that existed in Ethiopia and the Appalachians.

Nevertheless, Miller explained that Renner came to work at PCC, where she could combine something she loved with helping people. "She was an excellent teacher, and she wanted to impart her knowledge."

As a lab coordinator, many who worked with her recall her as someone willing to do the little things without being asked. She assigned herself tasks that no one thought of completing. "She took on the responsibilities no one gave her. She just did it. I don't know who can step up; it's just not quite the same," said Ben Wilkes, systems administrator for the digital media center.

"There was a special needs photography student of mine that she helped pass Photo 30. She wouldn't let him fail," he said. Various members of the art staff also remember Renner as a person who never gave up on the students; she always did the most for them. "If Ben, Laurel and I [staff members of the digital media center] are bricks, then Claudette was the cement. You can't have a wall without cement, and it's not the first thing you notice either," said Laurie Burruss, director of the digital media center. Something that people didn't notice until that last two years, was that Renner had cancer, but according to friends and family, she never complained.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and she thought she had conquered that disease. But two years later she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths because it is rare to be able to detect it in its early stages.

During a private memorial ceremony held on Feb. 10, her friends gathered to remember the different ways she had blessed their lives. "Claudette was revealing different pieces of herself to different people. And in the end, it was like "pieces of the pie" coming together as a whole to create this unique, wonderful, person who was loving, giving, humorous, strong, warm, generous and unique," said Heidi Friedrichs, a former PCC student who worked closely with Renner for five years in the lab. "Even in death, she is still giving to all of us with those warm, wonderful memories that I will never forget."

She was also remembered as someone who made delicate observations. Friedrichs regarded Renner with the highest esteem as someone of courage, beauty and compassion.

A Scholarship has been established in Renner's name. Anyone interested in donating should make checks out to the Art Department Courtesy Fund and be sure to write Claudette Renner in the check's memo line. Checks can be sent to the Visual Arts and Media Studies division in R118.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: March, 2007; Peace Corps Ethiopia; Directory of Ethiopia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Ethiopia RPCVs; Obituaries





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Story Source: PCC Courier Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; Obituaries

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