Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Olivia Weems Renkl, July 23, 1931 – June 11, 2012

Dear Friends:

We are sad to report the passing of Olivia Renkl, the mother of Chapter 16 Editor Margaret Renkl. Chapter 16 will be on hiatus for a few days.

Olivia Weems Renkl, 80, was a native of Clopton, Alabama; a longtime resident of Homewood, Alabama; and a recent transplant to Nashville, Tennessee. She was born unexpectedly on July 23, 1931, in Bertha, Alabama, in her own grandparents’ bed—her mother, Mildred Mims Weems, had been canning fruit and mistook the early labor pains for having eaten too many peaches. The attending physician was her own grandfather, Dr. William Moses Weems.

Olivia was a graduate of Auburn University (then Alabama Polytechnic Institute) and its school of home economics. After college she loved her work as a home-demonstration agent with the County Extension Service in several rural communities in lower Alabama, including Andalusia. In 1960 she married William Bishop Renkl, whom she loved until his death in 2003 and every day afterward until she joined him again on June 11, 2012.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Bryant and Olivia Brannon Mims and William and Alice Hawley Weems; by her parents, Max and Mildred Weems; and by her brother and sister-in-law, Max and Nina Blalock Weems. She leaves behind three bereft children and their spouses, and her eight grandchildren: Margaret Renkl and Haywood Moxley, and Sam, Henry, and Joe Moxley; Billy Renkl and Susan Bryant, and Emily Hyams, Ian Bryant, and Will Renkl; Lori Renkl and Michael Breeden, and Max and George Breeden; one great-grandchild, Lily Hyams; and the grandchildren of her heart: Sarah Doughton, Mary Ann Doughton Wilson, and John Doughton.

Olivia’s home church was the United Methodist Church of Clopton, Alabama. For more than 40 years she was a member of the Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Homewood, Alabama. Most recently she belonged to Christ the King Catholic Church in Nashville, Tennessee. All services will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Homewood, Alabama. Visitation with the family will be Friday, June 15th, at 5 p.m., followed by a rosary service at 6 p.m. The funeral mass will take place on Saturday, June 16th, at 11 a.m.

The family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Clopton United Methodist Church in Dale County, Alabama; to the scholarship fund at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Homewood, Alabama; or to the scholarship fund at Christ the King School in Nashville, Tennessee.