Irwin Ronald Renfer, 95, of Marion, Iowa, passed away on Monday, March 30, 2020, at The Views of Marion. Public services will be held at a later date. Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Marion is assisting Irwin's family.
Irwin was born Oct. 13, 1924, in Linn County, near Central City, and lived in Linn County all his life. He attended rural schools and graduated from Alburnett High School in 1942. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, served in India for 19 months and returned home in 1946.
On June 9, 1946, he married Doris Arnold at Springville United Methodist Church. They lived in Springville for one year and moved to Marion in 1947. Irwin was employed in shoe and clothing businesses until 1949 when he opened Renfer's Shoe Store in Marion. In 1956, he expanded the business and opened Irwin's Clothing. Later, he combined the two stores into Irwin's Clothing on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 12th Street in Marion. In 1982, he sold the business and retired.
Irwin served the community and his church, First United Methodist Church of Marion, and was active in business organizations. He was president of the Iowa Retail Clothing Association in 1980, president of the Marion Retail Chamber Bureau, a member of Lion's Club, Masonic Lodge No. 548, Marion American Legion Post No. 298 and served on several church boards. He was an active supporter of athletic, band and drama departments in the Marion schools. He was a member of Indian Creek Country Club for many years and enjoyed his friends on the golf course.
His leisure time was spent golfing, traveling with his family and enjoying friends. He and Doris traveled to all 50 states, Canada and seven countries. In their early years, the family camped and enjoyed parties with their beloved card club. Later, they enjoyed Elderhostel programs. For 20 years, they spent their winters in Arizona with other snowbirds and made friends from all over the world.
Irwin was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He enjoyed family gatherings with cousins, nieces and nephews along with friends. He faithfully attended morning coffee sessions with other Marion businessmen for over 60 years.
In June 2009, Irwin and Doris sold their home on McGowan Boulevard and moved to Keystone Place in Cedar Rapids. In June 2019, they moved to The Views of Marion, where Doris will continue to reside.
Irwin is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife of 73 years, Doris; three children, Ronald (Frances) and Janyce (Martin) Schuhmacher, both of Marion, and Marcia (Andy) Zimmermann of Ventura, Calif.; seven grandchildren; 10 1/2 great-grandchildren; sister, Donna Schwartz of Marion; and brother-in-law, Harold Crutchley of Marion.
Irwin was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Mildred (Shaffer) Renfer; two brothers, Ernest and Clair Renfer; and sister, Anita Crutchley.
Memorials in Irwin's memory may be directed to United Methodist Church, 1298 Seventh Ave., Marion, IA 52302. Please share a memory of Irwin at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.