Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 1, 2012

Reinhold 'Reni' Sigfried Dengel

TRAVERSE CITY — Reni Dengel passed away Sunday evening at Munson Medical Center after a long struggle with cancer, surrounded by friends and family.

Reni was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University for his bachelor's degree in special education. He went on to Michigan State University to earn a master's degree in early childhood education.

Reni worked 30 years for TBAISD and TCAPS in the pre-primary programs at Cherry Knoll School and Traverse Heights Elementary. He also worked in 2010-2011 at Suttons Bay Montessori as a special educator and gym teacher. He was a thoughtful and energetic educator, always on his feet, finding the best in every child he worked with.

Reni was a social and environmental activist, all-season athlete, outdoor lover, quick-witted, intelligent, generous and wise. Whether prepping dinner for spontaneous house guests, paddling a quiet river, hiking or biking a winding trail or entertaining at the beach, Reni never tired of giving his best and his all to those around him. He was a "swinging, jitterbugging, kisssin' and huggin', energetic kinetic dancing man." He lived a full life of grace, strength and passion. Reni's light on life is alive in the hearts and bright eyes of the children he taught and the family and friends who carry it on.

Reni is survived by his lovely wife, Mary Eschbach, of Cedar; son, Reni (Liz) Dengel, of Los Angeles; brothers, Ernst (Donna) Dengel, Johannes Peter (Sue) Dengel and Paul Dengel; and sisters, Hertha (Kent) McKeley, Christina (Frank) Hayden and Rosita (Frank) Moran.

A celebration of Reni's life will be held at their home, 1445 E. Maplewing, Cedar, MI on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m.

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