Renate Dick

Renate Dick passed away in the company of her children on June 29, 2020 in Lawrence, Kansas. She was 84 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Ernst S. Dick, and her two brothers, Carl-Wilhelm and Alfred.

Renate was born in 1936 in Münster, Germany. She graduated from the School of Library Science at the University of Cologne, Germany. She worked as a librarian for the Coordinated Library Systems of Westfalen in Münster, and later, when she married and moved to the United States, at the Medical Library of the University of Virginia. Her love for books and reading endured and she enjoyed reading to children of all ages throughout her life.

Renate lived with her immediate family in Lawrence for more than fifty years. She pursued many interests, ranging from the visual arts and crafts to gardening and exercising her green thumb, volunteering in the community, delighting in new foods and recipes, and traveling throughout the United States and abroad. Neighbors and friends knew that Renate could always be found in her garden, adding a new plant, arrangement of rocks, or bird house to her favorite retreat. She was an avid photographer and captured innumerable special moments in the garden, home and while traveling.

She shared with her husband a love for exploration and new experiences, a commitment to living life to its fullest and an appreciation of whimsy and the unexpected. While Dr. Dick dedicated his professional life to research and graduate instruction at the University of Kansas, Renate was drawn by her love of children to working for the Title One Reading Program of the Lawrence School District, primarily at St. Johns school.

Renate was a devoted wife who never stopped mourning the loss of her husband. She was a doting mother, and a constant source of encouragement and positive support to her children. She will also be remembered as a faithful and generous friend, and a gentle, caring soul who sought to bring beauty and joy into the lives of others. While often quiet and soft-spoken, she possessed enormous vitality, vigor in her convictions, and deep empathy and hope.

A celebration of Renate’s life will be held at a future date, out of respect for the health and safety of those mourning her passing. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to Lawrence Meals on Wheels and the Arlington Cancer Center, Texas sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

6 Condolences

  1. Viola stevens on July 5, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    It was a pure joy and pleasure to work for Renate and Ernst Dick in their later years. I will truly miss her dearly and hearing about her life adventures of traveling the country. My deepest sympathy to her children. Love Viola Steven

  2. Karen Davies on July 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Renate was kind, funny, and dedicated to teaching young children to learn to read. We worked together for the Title 1 program; I knew that when she spoke she had something important to say and I trusted her judgment. Twenty-five years ago, she gave me a wooden clown pull toy from Germany-it still hangs in my house. She was a lovely woman and my thoughts and prayers go out to her children.

  3. Zee Button on July 7, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Zee Button:
    I enjoyed getting to know Renate through the Title I reading program in the Lawrence Schools. Renate was a delightful lady and her love of reading and teaching young children was a joy to see. She always had a smile and I loved working with her. She was the kind of teacher every parent would love to have spend time with their children. I will miss Renate, but will always remember what a special lady she was. My sympathy goes out to her children.

  4. Charles Schumann on July 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

    I did not know Renate personally, but her husband was my PhD program advisor, and he was one of the most caring, personable and competent teachers and scholars I have known. So Renate and Ernst must have been a wonderful couple!
    Having a close relationship with Professor Dick (as he will always be to me because of my deep respect for him), I knew how much he loved his wife. The lives they touched are better because of them!

  5. Pat Newton on July 11, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    I knew Renate when she worked at St. John School while I was principal. We loved her gentle spirit and friendship. When she struggled with cancer, the staff came together to cheer her through her treatment and recovery. She was a patient and gentle Title I teacher and I admired her ability to gently teach our little ones. She loved being with the teachers. I can still hear her laugh.

  6. Marti on July 13, 2020 at 12:07 am

    My condolences to the family, may you find comfort in your many wonderful memories and in the loving support of God and family. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

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