Margaret Schneider Renner passed peacefully at her home in Laurel on Oct. 16, 2018. Born July 23, 1914 to Leopold and Barbara (Huffman) Schneider, first generation German-Catholic immigrants to the United States. Her father crossed the ocean from Odessa, finally settling in Yucca, ND. The windy, treeless farm is where Margaret, the seventh child of twelve brothers and sisters, learned the value of hard work and self-sufficiency.
In 1934 Margaret moved to Billings to work in the home of a doctor before getting a job at St. Vincent’s Hospital. She married (James) Art Menter in 1935 and often recalled these happy years farming on Billings Bench, canning just about everything from her immaculate garden, and raising their four daughters, Elaine, Arlene, Sharon and Carol. The family later moved to Columbus, where Art introduced Margaret to her other lifelong love- fishing. After Art's death in 1960, Margaret married Charles (Charlie) Fink. They lived in Columbus and enjoyed traveling, camping, hunting and yes - more fishing until Charlie died in 1977. Margaret also loved to dance, and in 1980 married her dancing partner, Matt Renner. They resided in Laurel where, following Matt’s death in 2002, she continued to live independently for 16 years. Margaret began oil painting in her 50’s, an activity she continued until just days before her death. Her favorite subjects were her beloved mountains and streams, snow scenes, and her idealized 'cabin in the woods'. Her enthusiasm lives on in her paintings which are widely distributed amongst family and friends. Margaret hosted many a family feast, baked more pies than she had years, played a mean game of cribbage and enjoyed life’s simple pleasures like having friends over for cards. At 104 years old, Margaret's proclaimed secret to her longevity, 'Just keep moving!' was something she practiced religiously, and it provided inspiration to all who knew her. Margaret was genuinely admired and respected, and deeply loved by all her family; her absence, especially during holidays will be profound. Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, twelve siblings, Art Menter, Charles Fink, Matt Renner; Arlene and Calvin Blevins, Carol and John Lyons, Bud Rausch; Leslie and Glen Steiner. Margaret is survived by daughters Elaine (Allen) Smith, Sheri Rausch; grandchildren Al (Marilyn) Smith, Jim Smith, Dawn (Steve) Nielsen, Jeff (Krissy) Blevins, Tracy Rausch, Selisa (Tom) Foubert, Carrie (Bradley) Lembke, Lynn Walker; great grandchildren Kait (Markus) Husmann, Ben Smith, Samantha (Eric) Ivanov, Cody Blevins, Cade and Laramie Rausch, Ryan and Lucas Lembke; great great granddaughter Rowan Husmann and many other nieces and nephews, relatives, dear friends and neighbors.
An extra special thank you to everyone who provided love and assistance to Margaret during her final years. A memorial celebration is planned for Spring/Summer 2019.