Peaceful 07

Edward C. Rensi

December 7, 1925 ~ May 30, 2022 (age 96)


    Ninety-six-year-old World War II veteran and longtime Monroe County resident Edward C. Rensi died on Memorial Day at The Arbors in Woodsfield from cardiac arrest.

    Commonly known by his nickname, “Razz,” given to him during early childhood by his father, Ed was born on December 7, 1925, in Parlett, Ohio to Andrew E. and Edith (Visintainer) Rensi. Raised in Wintersville, he loved to hunt, fish and play baseball as a young boy. Ed graduated from Wintersville High School and played saxophone in the school’s marching band. After returning from his tour of duty with the Navy in World War ll, he married Alberta Bossick of Hopedale in 1950. During their young adult years, Ed and “Bert” moved to Bloomingdale and began raising their three children. During those years he worked in supply for North American Coal Corp. In 1965, he was transferred to Powhatan Point as a purchasing agent and moved his young family to Woodsfield. He concluded his career at the supply office there and retired from the company in 1985.

    A member of the Greatest Generation, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 18. He was assigned duty on the USS California and was a crew member when the ship was hit by a Japanese kamikaze during the invasion of Lingayen Gulf in January 1945. Forty-four of his fellow shipmen were killed and another 155 were injured.

    Ed was interviewed about his war experiences for the Grand Valley State University Veterans Project. His recollections of the war in the Pacific Theater can be viewed on YouTube. (Enter GVSU Veterans History Project—Edward Rensi.)

    When he returned home from the war he worked a variety of jobs—from butcher to coal truck driver to railroad worker.  He then moved to Lincoln Park, Michigan where he lived with relatives and found employment at the Dodge Main, a massive auto assembly plant in Hamtramck.

    But ever the “country boy,” young Ed returned to the hills of Southeast Ohio a year later. One day at an ice cream shop he met a pretty girl, Alberta Bossick of Hopedale, and politely asked for a lick of her cone. That lick would lead to 72 years of marriage and three children.

    During his six decades in Woodsfield, Ed fished many of the small ponds in Monroe County in pursuit of the bluegills he loved—pan fried in a beer batter. He was also a small game hunter—mostly squirrels and rabbits. For many years he cut and split wood to heat the home that he and Bert renovated.

    During the spring and summer he loved nothing more than to watch his beloved Cleveland Indians (Guardians), rarely missing a game on television. He also had passions for boxing and football, whether it was played by the Noles, Buckeyes or Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Also, he reveled in the fact that he and Bert were able to spend the last 28 winters of his life in Fort Myers, Florida.

    His greatest love, however, were his grandchildren and great grandchildren who he taught many things: his lexicon of secret words (“goomis,” “twiddler,” “skeef,” etc.); how to bait a line; how to bat a ball; how to fillet a fish: and much, much more. He called the boys “renegades.” He called the girls “my little darlings.” They simply called him “Papa,” with a love and admiration that was obvious to all.

     Some people measure greatness in terms of wealth. Some measure it in terms of education or achievement. The measure of Edward Rensi was the values that he carried around with him every day of his life—character, honesty and integrity. He was, by those measures, a truly great man.

    Ed was predeceased by his brother Eugene and sister-in-law Doris. He is survived by his loving wife Alberta; son Terry (Jane); daughter Debbie Bokuniewicz (Len); daughter Becky Ricer (Mike); grandchildren Leslie Fife (B.J.), Andrew Rensi (Maryn), Nick Bokuniewicz, Gordon Bokuniewicz, Erika Board, Erin DeAngelis (Jimmy), Lindsay Barnhart (Brian); great grandchildren Lennon, Lydia and Robert Fife; Beau Barnhart; two soon-to-be born baby girls; as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

    A memorial service, including Mass at St. Sylvester church, is scheduled for June 11 at 11:00 a.m. There will not be a viewing. Details can be found at  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cancer Gas Card Program, c/o Shirley Brown, 48397 Keylor Hill Road, Woodsfield, OH 43793 or St. Sylvester School, 119 Wayne St, Woodsfield, OH 43793.

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Memorial Mass
June 11, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Sylvester Catholic Church (Woodsfield, Ohio)

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