Renard George "Renny" Kampstra

Obituary
1 entry
  • "Dear Lucy, Sorry we were out of town and couldn't attend..."
    - BG (Ret) Ed and Jayne Brown
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Renard George (Renny) Kampstra, 90, passed away at his home in Montgomery, TX on Sunday, May 19, 2013. He was born on November 29, 1922 in Chicago, IL to the late George and Teenie (Brower) Kampstra. Renny is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Lucy of Montgomery, TX; children Marjorie (Bob) Smith of Muskegon, MI, James (Sue) Kampstra of Chambersburg, PA, George (Hilary) Kampstra of Springfield, VA, and Cindy (Casey) Riney of Montgomery, TX; grandchildren Alison Kampstra, Jimmy Kampstra, Carly Riney, Nick Riney, Lindsey Riney, and Georgie Kampstra; sister Babe Smit; brother George (Betty) Kampstra and several nieces, nephews and special friends.

Renny grew up in south suburban Chicago and graduated from Chicago Christian High School in 1940. He was employed by Western Electric and attended night school at Illinois Institute of Technology. Employment and studies were interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was assigned to the 450th Bomb Group as Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on a B-24 Heavy Bomber. On June 16, 1944, while bombing a target in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Renny's plane was shot down by Luftwaffe fighters. He and seven of his 10-man crew parachuted into Hungary where they were captured. After weeks in the Budapest Jail, Renny was transferred to Stalag Luft IV, a Prisoner of War camp. In early February, 1945, to escape the advancing Russian forces, the Germans evacuated Stalag Luft IV and led the POWs on a 3 month, 600 mile forced march west across Germany during the harsh winter. In late April, Renny and 3 of his buddies managed to escape and met up with the US 9th Air Force near Celle, Germany. He arrived in the U.S. in May, 1945, one day after VE Day.

Following discharge from the service, Renny married the love of his life, Lucy Fischer. He began a career in shoe manufacturing, an occupation that led him to positions in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Saudi Arabia. He retired in 1992 to Bradenton, FL, and later to Montgomery, TX in 2008.

Renny and Lucy were members of the Christian Reformed Church in Evergreen Park, IL, the Methodist Church in Anna, IL, the Waynesboro, PA Presbyterian Church, the Bradenton Christian Reformed Church in FL, and the First United Methodist Church in Conroe, TX.

In Bradenton, Renny was a member of the EX-POW organization. In Montgomery, Renny traveled to Washington DC on Honor Flight #1 and enjoyed weekly meetings with a local veteran's group with whom he enjoyed camaraderie, food and friendship. Special thanks to Jack McClanahan for generously hosting our deserving veterans. Thanks to all who contributed to the Honor Flight program. Thanks to Brenda Beaven, the staff and students of the Montgomery ISD who donated time and money in support of local World War II heroes.

Visitation will be held 10:30 am, Friday, May 24, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church in Conroe. A Celebration of Life Funeral service will follow at 11:30 am. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Renny's name to Autism Speaks, or the Salvation Army.

You are invited to leave a written condolence to his family at www.shmfh.com


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Funeral Home
Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home of Montgomery
20850 Eva St.
Montgomery, TX 77356
(936) 597-7300
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Published on yourconroenews.com from May 21 to June 3, 2013
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