Loranza "Ren" Tackett

February 16, 1933 - February 10, 2023
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Please share your favorite memory of Loranza "Ren" to be included in a special keepsake book for the family.
Loranza “Ren” Tackett, age 89 of Marne, passed away on Friday, February 10, 2023.

Ren was born in Paintsville, Kentucky, the son of William and Eva Tackett. In the 1960’s Ren worked for Reith & Riley Construction and help pave 28th Street. He also worked for Able Grinding, Michigan Stamping and Plating, and finished his career working for Arrow Door for 20 years. Ren enjoyed people and fun. He loved children and helped his wife Jo in guiding the many children she babysat through the years. He had many friends through his jobs, neighbors, and relatives. He enjoyed his friends and going to auctions and flea markets. Ren also loved fishing and hunting for companionship and would give his “catches” away.

He was preceded in death by his four brothers, Edward, Kenneth, Thomas and Walter Tackett; and his only sister, Elva (Ransom) Hackworth.

Ren is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jo Tackett; his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Sandy Cobb, Kim and Pat Bachert, and Jeff and Nadine Bachert

A funeral service for Ren will be held at 2:00pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at the Beuschel Funeral Home, 5018 Alpine Avenue, Comstock Park. Pastor Bruce Wilson will lead the service.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 1:00pm to 2:00pm at Beuschel Funeral Home.
Following the service there will be light reception at the funeral home for those who would like to attend.

Burial will take place in Marne Cemetery in Wright Township.

The family request that no flowers or gifts be sent and suggests that donations instead be given to the charity of your choice.

**For those who are interested, here is more of the story:

Ren (legal first name Loranza) was born back in a Holler in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in 1933 to Eva and Ted Tackett. His mother was 40 and he was the youngest of six children - four brothers: Edward, Kenneth, Thomas, and Walter. He had one sister, Elva Hackworth. Because his brothers and sister were much older, they already had children and even some close to his age.

What do we know about his name? "Lorenza" People always ask where did it come from? Why wasn't it Lorenzo like most people have heard of?

Ren was conceived very late in age his parents were planning on a girl and had the name “Loretta” picked out and didn't even think about a boy’s name... but their doctor solved their problem and suggested they call him “Lorenza”.

Just a few years ago, he had learned from a Mexican lady at a flea market that Lorenza was the female version of Lorenzo in Mexican. He was not thrilled to learn that. I am sure that Kentucky doctor in 1933 was not Mexican... but we will never know.

To make things more complicated his family didn't pronounce names correctly he was called ‘Little Lorenzi”. If a word ended with an “a” it was pronounced with an “ie”.

His mother's name was Eva, so they called her Evie. His sister was Elva, so they called her Elvie and instead of saying baking soda, they call it bakin’ sodie.

When Ren came to Grand Rapids his employer needed to shorten his name so the name “Ren” was born.

When he was nine his family moved to Ohio Just across the border then to Dayton. Eventually his parents moved further North to a small town near Toledo. Ren stayed behind to live with his sister Elva in Dayton, and she had ten children of her own. He grew very close to his cousins as his siblings. Two of his brothers fathered eight children each. His cousins gave him the name "Sam". He sure did have a hassle with his name in each state, didn't he?

The Tackett Family lived off the main road in the tiny town of Strasville Kentucky (In the Holler). In order to get to the very small house in back of the field you had to cross over a swinging bridge which crossed a small river and swinging and a bouncing it was! When you walked on it the motion of just walking cause the floor to bounce you had two ropes like side rails and it felt like you were walking on a wave.

Ren took his wife Jo back to see the vacant little house at the bottom of the mountain actually a huge “hill” and she thought it looked like a fun place to climb! She looked up at it and said let us climb up then run down! So he took them up a diagonal route up the hill when they got to the top. She not only did not want to run down, she didn't even want to walk down. She held his arm and held her breath all the way back down.

Little Lorenzi started school in Kentucky he had to climb that same hill and go a mile or so to get to the school. One of this first books was Country Life Readers published in 1915. It was used earlier by his brother Thomas they both wrote their names and scribbled through the whole book probably not good for antique values. His other school book was This is our Town 1942.

Later Lorenza moved to Carry Ohio with his parents. He was once again living on a road less traveled and off the beaten path (back in the muck) behind a big corn field. He dropped out of school in the 6th grade and a lack of formal schooling left him with a bad habit of butchering the Kings English! He increased the swear words to replace appropriate words. He absolutely refused to acknowledge that there was a word called "those" and instead it would always be "them" cookies was delicious and he never said “I knew it” but always said “I knowed it”. That was from the book learning he missed.

Ren acquired a large volume of common sense and this probably helped him more than the correct usage of a word would have done! He could zoom into a core of the problem while others were just trying to figure it out! Through the years several of his bosses always gave him the jobs of responsibility because they knew Ren would get it done with no supervision but with common sense and reasoning. Powers were one of the things that started to fail him as his age progressed.

The weakness caused by two heart attacks also started to hinder him a lot along with his joys in life he spent his younger years through his twenties working many odd jobs traveling to different cities and states. The city of Carry Ohio where he had lived a large stone quarry he worked with using a jackhammer to drill holes for dynamite. He also worked in the quarry in Amherst Ohio. He worked with a friend at Dave’s Tree trimmers and worked at a boat factory in Decatur Indiana spreading glue for the fiberglass application. Ren worked at A&C Railroad laying ties. In his twenties he just kept working one job to the other to make a couple bucks.

Just enough to help him and his buddies for a round of beer then one day when he was 29 almost 30 years old his friend Jerry called him to Grand Rapids to come work with him for putting a chain link fencing up for Sears. Jerry was also from Carry. He and his wife came North to find work so again Ren decided to drop everything and go up to Michigan to make a few bucks with a mutual friend had bought an old car with. So, they came up with the intentions of earning a few bucks and then going back to Ohio.

The work was good and the pay was good though it was sporadic the paychecks turned out very small because the guys always "borrowed” on their paychecks through the week to support their drinking parties.

One of the fences they put up was for a famous Jazz musician, Louis Armstrong, up in Idlewood, Michigan. Neither got to meet him though they worked only with his wife.

Jerry and Doris lived in the apartment building on Jefferson facing the back street of Saint Mary's Hospital that is now the front of the hospital when Ren and his buddy came out they moved into an apartment building two doors down owned by the same landlord as it had happened, Jo lived in that same building. The landlord introduced Jo to Jerry's wife Doris, thinking they both needed a friend it turned out to be a good relationship for all four.

Jo worked at Saint Mary's in the credit department often walked home from work at night through the back door through an alley to her apartment this was launch against the constant advice of the guard in the parking lot and was really a stupid thing to do because it was very bad neighborhood but who pays attention to advice when they're 20?

At the same time Ren would often go over and set on the front porch with Jerry and his wife and the guys drinking their beers after a hot day's work. Ren kept watching a slim young girl in her high heels come walking down the sidewalk each night from her office job. He liked her looks a lot in her little dress and heels. He was struck hard with a love bug he kept begging Doris to ask this girl named Jo if she would go out with him. Doris finally asked and Jo said No.

After much Haggling over several days Jo finally agreed. But only as a double date with Jerry & Deloris so to the Drive In on 28th they went. The rest is History, and it is ALL DELORIS’S FAULT! Ren told his buddy to take their car and go back to Ohio he was staying here in Michigan. On the 2nd date in July of 1963 Ren kept telling Joe he loved her and he asked her to marry him. She thought he was NUTS! The next day at work she asked the older women what they would think if someone was acting like that they said “Careful!” but she kept going with him and kept telling him to go away but he would not go away. Jo finally decided he’s very strong and he’s older and he should know what's best. He was a good worker so she made him wait for a year until she turned 21.

They eloped in May of 1964 when Ren was 31. It was the first and only marriage for either of them.

Ren and Jerry were good friends for years but, Ren had to move on to find other work he got a job at Reith & Riley in the Sixties he ran the skeet and black topping one of The jobs he worked was paving 28th street in front of the Rogers plaza he also worked foe Able Grinding several years one day they gave him a job of sharpening instruments for the surgeons at Saint Mary's hospital. Poor Patients! When started at Michigan Stamping & Plating, he made good money until production got less and less and they finally closed.

Ren's last place of employment was Arrow Door - it was a new company starting up the starting pay was very low not even half of what he made at Michigan plating... they promised it would be increased so he took a chance. He drove a Hi-lo and worked there for 20 years working his way up to being in charge of the Receiving Dept. He made a lot of friends with semi drivers who came in regularly they were probably responsible for the collection of over 200 baseballs he accumulated through the years they were always bringing him some little token and he enjoyed working with them and their CO workers and he liked the work he had his 1st heart attack one day while at work The immediate care given and all the concerns given by everyone was an immense help to his recovery.

In 1979 the company entered Ren with another co-worker into a Clark equipment decathlon for forklift operators put on by Morrison Industrial Equipment. 92 of the area's top high low drivers participated. Ren was very excited and proud to be involved in the event each man was given an estimated hour to complete his 10 maneuvers with several performing at the same time. Ren and his friend did not receive any prizes but they did receive a certificate to show their participation.

Ren and Jo had no children of their own but they enjoyed kids it was fun for them to take kids places to eat or play helping them learn and grow when Joe was between jobs she was babysitting for other people's children they helped guide over 20 different families through the years it brought enjoyment to the both of them. Ren enjoyed reading to them and was good at it.

Ren always love fishing and small game hunting he usually hunted rabbits and squirrels then one day while he cleaning an animal the fur kept getting into the meat it made him sick and he didn't want to eat it after that if he went hunting he would just give his catch away. He loved perch He loved blue girl too and he really loved them when someone showed him how to flay them but he finally had to give up fishing when he felt uneasy getting in-and-out of a boat he also cleaned the fish for his mother in law to be because she loved fish but she wanted the bones left in or so she said we never knew if she really preferred the bones or even if she was just afraid she wouldn't get any fish otherwise. When Ren got better at filet she got her fish without bones and she didn't complain.

Ren loved ice fishing too sometimes he and a friend would go out on the ice shanty to fish they just set out all day as he got older he couldn't tolerate cold any longer so a buddy would stop by and share his tasty catch.

Ren’s real passion was gardening. Remember he’s from the South and if you're from Kentucky you absolutely must put in a garden when he would see his relatives again after many months the 1st question they ask of course how are you the 2nd question was do you have a garden this year that is a really stupid question to ask a Southerner because putting in that garden is part of their DNA run always had a large garden for his family of two he produced tons of food he gave a lot away he sold some and Jo canned tons of it too.

Old age finally caught up he was forced by his wife to plant a smaller garden because more and more of the upkeeps was being pushed on her shoulders. A good friend John had helped many hours with his fantastic roto tilling machine it turned the clay into powdered dirt. It was appreciated then run for most of the time could keep up with the weeds it also allowed us to keep a garden a little longer another interesting thing about ren Sam Lorenzi which most people didn't know he could always find four leaf clovers with even without trying they just seemed to jump right out at him as he was walking. He has about a 100 preserved.

Ren was also colorblind he could not distinguish pink from blue greens from reds all were the same he couldn't drive past an orchard to see ripe apples they just blended with the leaves and branches but for some reason he could see plums most objects to him were in Browns or dull colors. One day he went in to the one store town he had got himself a new pair of pants. He went into his mother's house wearing them pants...A bright red! One would have thought that the salesman would have said something but he was probably just glad he finally get rid of them it's very doubtful that red pants were very popular in the fifties especially since most farmers wore bib overalls when asked if he ever took them back to the store he said no salesman was a girl! When asked if he ever wore them he said, h*** no! I give them to a buddy but the teasing lasted for years.

To add to Ren's life story, I met him a little over 3 years ago. My husband and I noticed he and his buddy John Deere became closer in a short time. He and that 4-wheel tractor had a lot of time together. Working on a perfect lawn or just a way to get around and do all the things he could not do on his own Ren would stroll out to the pond and enjoying the view around him. He would often stop over to at Teddy’s to check progress the garden or nibble on cherry tomatoes. He would say to my husband there she goes platin them damn stink weeds again...with a grin he shook head with a giggle does she know they collect bees?

Ted and Ren would tinker with that green tractor sometimes. Ren shared the Ole days with us as we took breaks sitting on our green tractors. Ren was a sweet person always keeping busy the best way he knew how. This little corner in Marne isn't going to be the same without him But, we are thankful we had the opportunity to have Ren as a Friend and Neighbor. Good memories from this day forward will bring our hearts warm smiles especially when we mow.

Thank you for hanging on for the rest of the story. Have a Good Day!
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    February 15, 2023 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    February 15, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Beuschel Funeral Home
    5018 Alpine Avenue
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  • Funeral Service

    February 15, 2023 | 2:00pm
    February 15, 2023 2:00pm
    Beuschel Funeral Home
    5018 Alpine Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    February 15, 2023 | 3:00pm
    February 15, 2023 3:00pm
    Beuschel Funeral Home
    5018 Alpine Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event

    Online Event

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    In Loving Memory Of

    Loranza "Ren" Tackett

    February 16, 1933 - February 10, 2023

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Posted at 01:11pm
Ted and I are going to miss Ren's smiling face and great since of humor. Ren was dedicated to having a nice yard. He and his wife Jo spent time in their garden and had delicious home grown beans. Ren was always helpful. I enjoyed our conversations we would visit while sitting on our lawnmowers. We could not ask for a better neighbors. HUGS to his wife Jo. Ted & Teena Elzinga

A Memorial Tree was planted for Loranza "Ren" Tackett

Posted at 12:56pm
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Beuschel Funeral Home

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