RENER, PIERRE JAMES; passed away suddenly on December 21, 2011. Pierre was born and raised in Detroi…

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RENER, PIERRE JAMES; passed away suddenly on December 21, 2011. Pierre was born and raised in Detroit, but lived for 40 years in Kansas City, Missouri. After serving in the Korean War, Pierre earned his degrees at Michigan State, and Wayne State. He began a distinguished teaching career which included: DPS (1958-65); Cass Tech High School, Director of Performing Arts (1965-1974); Milperra College of Advanced Education in Sydney, Australia (1975-76); and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Pierre was the beloved husband of Eva Gunn Rener. Pierre is survived by brothers, Gustave Rener of Grosse Pointe, and Michael Rener of Troy; sons Peter Rener of Livonia, and Brian Rener of Lake Bluff, IL; and ten grandchildren.

1. Pierre was that teacher ... the one that changes your life ... the one who you continue to talk about years later.
While at UMKC, I took every single class he taught (despite his brutal determination to schedule his classes at 8:00 am). With Pierre, you knew you would have to work. Hard. You learned. Really learned. He brought out things in his students they didn't know was in them. Years later, I still have some of my papers that show his comments.
After graduating, I continued to speak each semester to his writing classes and we remained friends for many years before losing touch. I just Googled him to see where he was and discovered this very sad news.
Thank you Pierre. You changed my life with yours. Jean Graeff

2. I had tried for years to learn where Pierre had moved after he left Detroit and only now, sadly, came upon this notice. We were classmates at Michigan State and fellow members of Theta Alpha Phi, the national theatre honorary. I was privileged to see several of his productions at Cass Tech while I was at Wayne State and working in the Detroit Public School system. There are not many people who stick in one's mind after 55 years, but I so admired his creativity, his commitment and his integrity. Although this is so belated, I send my condolences to his family. Nancy Hartung-Arnfield

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