Steven E. Renk

Steven E. Renk, age 79, passed away on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 in Madison, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on April 10, 1940 in Madison, to the late Wilbur and Helen Renk. He is survived by his wife Sharon Renk of Sun Prairie, WI and Fort Myers, FL; daughter Courtney and Scott Lackey and granddaughters Brooke and Charlotte of Valencia, CA; daughter Nicole Jackson, grandsons Alex and Matthew and granddaughter Allison of Hartland, WI; daughter Ashley Renk of Atlanta, GA; and sister Sue Renk of Fort Myers, FL.

Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1962, where he was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity, and after graduation worked in the family seed company; Renk Seed Company until he retired in 2000. He purchased the company in 1968 with two cousins and was President for many years, as well as Director of Sales, and he developed a small family business into an international company. He was involved in numerous leadership positions throughout the seed industry, church and service clubs. One of his proudest accomplishments was being awarded the U.S. President’s Award for export of excellence. The Small Business Administration gave him their similar award.

He was a family man and was most happy when he could spend time with them. The family has fond memories of weekends at the lake, visits to Florida, boat trips and time spent at his beloved log cabin behind his home. He loved his association with people in agriculture as well as his international clients and customers.

Everyone who met him liked him because of his big infectious grin, smile and hearty laugh. This wonderful, witty, and intelligent gentleman was an especially kind and generous husband, father and grandfather to his family. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and business associates.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life will be held at United Methodist Church 702 North Street, Sun Prairie, WI on Friday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. and a dinner reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Steven’s name can be made to the Mayo Clinic Foundation which will be used for Lymphoma Cancer Research. Please send checks (place Steve’s name in the memo section) to Mayo Clinic Dept. of Development, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905. ( Please share your memories at

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