Rob Renner joined his family in the house of the Lord on August 9, 2020, surrounded by his family who cherished him dearly. He was born in Alton, and at the age of 96 he was still doing what he enjoyed most — puttering around the ranch and going out to watch deer in the fields in the evening.

Rob was born on November 25, 1923 to Ted and Mary Renner and was raised on their family dairy in Alton along with his five siblings. He attended Fortuna High and when he graduated in 1941 he had a herd of four cows of his own. He purchased a parcel of land on Price Creek, which was across the river from his home place.

In 1944, Rob joined the Army. He was a part of the 32nd Red Arrow Infantry and served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He was a decorated veteran being awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart when he was injured in the Philippines. While on leave from the Army, he met his wife, Lois Cavanaugh. After his tour was over he married Lois and eventually moved to the Price Creek property and established the dairy and beef cattle operation that is still there today. When not working on the dairy, he was busy clearing brush, logging trees, dynamiting stumps from the fields and developing the property what is now known as Diamond R Ranch.

Together, Rob and Lois raised five children. The four boys grew up working on the ranch and in the logging business. Rob had instilled in them a strong work ethic, business sense and family commitment. While his oldest son Ron had passed away in 1985, Dave, Robin and Tim continue to work and manage the different segments of the businesses.

During his life, Rob held a deep commitment to his community. He was a 4-H leader for over 50 years and the Chairman of the Humboldt County Fair’s Dairy Heifer Replacement committee for 30 years. In 2005, the Humboldt County Fair’s Dairy Judging Ring was renamed in his honor. Rob’s love of dairy goes back to his high school days when he showed animals at the State Fair. They would travel down and back by train with the cattle and stay at dorms at the fair. It was quite an adventure back then for a farm boy!

In 2012 he received the “Cattleman of the Year” award from the Cattlemen’s Association. Rob was a member of the Associated California Loggers and Native Sons for over 70 years. He was a member of numerous wildlife conservation groups and was an avid hunter. His favorite pastime was planning hunting trips which he took nearly every year. Even after he turned 90, he was still planning hunting trips to Montana and his boys would take him every year.

Rob was survived by his children David and Mary Ann Renner of Ferndale, Robin and Penny Renner of Ferndale, Tim and Renee’ Renner of Ferndale, Maralyn Renner (Ron Cox) of Garden Valley, and Laura McConnell of Fortuna; by daughter-in-law Margaret Garrett of Woodland; by grandchildren David (Kelli) Renner, Kenny (Megan) Renner, Becky (Tim) Jacobson, Chris (Lisa) Renner-Cox, Ambria (Tyson) Hamilton, Matthew (Krista) Renner, Alayna Renner, Brian (Jennifer) Renner, Todd (Julie) Renner, Kelly (Benton) Chadbourne, Alex (Kelley) Renner, Macy (Trenton) Dunn, Cheryl Tunzini, Kim, (Dave) Hindley, Paul and Jason Spaulding; by 28 great-grandchildren; by his sister, Kay Swithenbank; by his brother-in-law Bruce Hutton and numerous nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by his wife of 66 years, Lois; infant daughter Elizabeth; oldest son, Ron Renner; and siblings, Carl Renner, Larry Renner, Mary Grace Wise, Bernice McWhorter, and Edward Renner.

There will be a viewing and visitation on Monday, August 17th at the Assumption Catholic church in Ferndale from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for family and friends. Masks and social distancing will be required. Due to Covid, the Rosary and Funeral will be immediate family only at a later time. Casket bearers will be his grandsons: Matthew Renner, Alex Renner, Todd Renner, Brian Renner, Chris Renner-Cox, David Renner and Kenneth Renner.

His family express many thanks for the kind thoughts and words and appreciate the concern and love shown by friends and family especially his dear and close friends Paul and Gloria Grundman. Because of limited services, in lieu of flowers you may make a donation to the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department (PO Box 485), VFW of Ferndale or a charity of your choice.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Rob Renner’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.