Thursday, April 18, 2024

Washburn High School

Class of 1956 - In Memory Of

Gretchen Jane Watz (Renich)

Watz, Gretchen Jane (Renich)
On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012,
Gretchen Jane Watz passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her bedside. Gretchen was born on August 19, 1938 in Minneapolis to Robert and Jane Renich. She was a graduate of the Class of 1956 at Washburn High School. She was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother survived by her husband, John, of 50 years; children Heidi, Patrick (Dawn) and Marcie (Justin); brother Fred (Alex); and eight grandchildren TJ, Joey, Carley, Mark, Jordan, Ella, Abby and Claire.

Gretchen was a resident of Mission Viejo, California for 44 years. While living in Orange County, she worked at the Laguna Hills High School, Mount of Olives Lutheran Church and Culbertson, Adams and Associates as an Executive Assistant. She was President of Saddleback Valley Co-Op (nursery school), President of the Saddleback Valley Education Council and President of Ayudantes Auxiliary. She started Let's Be Friends and was active in March of Dimes and Marriage Encounter. Gretchen was responsible for forming the Spina Bifida parent support group. In 1980, she received a Community Service award for her volunteer efforts.

In retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, book club, mentoring Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), participating in retired teachers and quilting groups, singing in the church choir and living an active lifestyle. Her travels took her internationally to over 30 countries. She had an extensive network of friends who will remember her for her giving nature, kind spirit and sweet heart. She touched many lives and those who met her were blessed by her inner and outer beauty.

A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11 am PST at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Mission Viejo. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Gretchen's name to ImagineMore.

Published in Minneapolis Star Tribune on December 2, 2012

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