Louis Tuck Renz

1925 - 2013


In Loving Memory

Louis Tuck Renz

July 6, 1925 – June 15, 2013

Louis Tuck Renz, age 87, passed away peacefully Saturday

morning, June 15, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, surrounded by his

children. A native of Montana, Louis (Lou) was the youngest

of two children born to George William and Marjorie (Tuck)

Renz. His father was a railroad station agent and from a young

age Lou was fascinated with the railroad and trains,

an interest he pursued throughout his life.

Upon graduation from Gallatin County

High School in Bozeman, Montana, Lou received

a congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval

Academy. He graduated from the academy with

the class of 1947. He then served for a year in the

Engineering Department aboard the USS TOPEKA

(CLG8) and was assigned for the next two years as

Communications Watch Officer at the Guam Radio

Station. For the following four years he served on

Destroyers; first as Gunnery Officer aboard the USS

JENKINS (DDE 447) and then as ASW Officer and

Navigator aboard the USS KYES (DD787).

Lou continued to further his education with

graduate studies at the Naval Post Graduate School

in Monterey, California. Here he was reintroduced to

a childhood friend from Bozeman, Montana, Janet

Ragsdale. Lou and Janet were married in 1954 and

they raised a family of three children; Lark, Tristan,

and Lori. Upon completion of his coursework in

Monterey, Lou continued his studies at Lehigh

University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he

earned a Master’s degree in Chemistry.

From 1958 to 1960 Lou was an Instructor of

Physics at the U.S. Naval Academy and from 1960 to

1962 he served as Executive Officer of the USS Mullany

(DD 528). In 1965 he served as the commanding

officer of the Destroyer, the USS Prichett (DD-561).

Lou was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam


His tours at sea were always followed by an

assignment in Washington, D.C. While working in

Washington, Lou began taking computer classes at

night. As computers were just in their infancy, he

initially learned how to program using the punch card

and then followed the development of the personal

computer over the next 40 years with great interest.

Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1967, Lou

moved his family to Walla Walla, Washington where

he helped establish the Walla Walla Community

College. The first class of 850 students was enrolled

in the fall semester of 1967. Teaching was truly his

passion. He instructed students in Chemistry, Physics

and Calculus for many years before deciding to apply

his leadership skills to the administrative position of

Dean of Instruction. He continued to work in this

capacity until his retirement in 1988.

Lou was a member and elder of the First

Presbyterian Church of Walla Walla. He was a member

of the Northern Pacific Railroad Historical Society,

the Walla Walla Kiwanis club, the Rotary Club of

Walla Walla, the Naval Academy Alumni Association

and he served for four years as President of the Board

of Directors of the Walla Walla Symphony. Lou was

an avid reader whose interests ranged from Medieval

European History to the tales of Taylor Caldwell.

After years of research and study he authored a

book entitled, “The History of the Northern Pacific

Railroad”, copyright 1980. In retirement, he continued

to pursue writing of a fictional nature, choosing to try

his hand at murder mysteries.

Together with his wife Janet, Lou enjoyed the

pleasures of entertaining, attending the opera, reading,

writing, gardening, working on the computer, doing

volunteer work, and traveling the world. Their travels

included China, South America, Europe, Africa and

the Caribbean, as well as a 182-day around the world

cruise. During their travels to many fascinating ports

aboard cruise ships, Lou was also able to gain an

appreciation of sailing from the vantage point of a


Returning to Northern California in 1996, Lou

and Janet came full circle, returning to a state they

loved, to pursue their interests and continue their

retirement surrounded by memories of earlier days

when they rekindled a childhood friendship and

raised a young family. Lou always maintained a

curiosity and interest in the world around him. He

truly believed that the more one knew about the

world, the more interesting life would be and thus

he continued to acquire knowledge and seek out new

experiences throughout his life.

Lou is survived by his three children; his

daughter, Lark and her husband Rich Granger; his

daughter Lori Renz; his son Tristan and his wife Leslie

and their two children, Logan and his wife Gillian

and Amanda and her husband Derek; and his sister,

Roberta Flickinger. He was predeceased by his wife of

55 years, Janet Helen Ragsdale Renz.

A memorial service will be held August 2, 2013

at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

where Lou will be laid to rest together with his wife



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