Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

Merrill L. “Merl” Rentsman, age 71, of Gowen, passed away Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Spectrum Health-United Hospital, Greenville. The son of Henry & Bernice (Tissue) Rentsman, he was born on June 21, 1942 in Greenville and was a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps having served in the early years of the Vietnam war.

For over 30 years, Merrill worked at R.J. Tower Automotive and enjoyed buying, restoring, and collecting old cars as a hobby. He loved all animals, especially his special dogs, and will be remembered by his family as a “jack of all trades”… always willing to help others. He was a member of the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101.

On September 3, 1983, in Greenville, he married the former Anna Mae (Gruber) Vanderlip and together they enjoyed over 30 years of marriage.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Duane Rentsman; and a son, Randy L. Vanderlip.

Surviving are his wife, Anna M. Rentsman of Gowen; children, Teresa & Kim Petersen of Greenville, Bill & Jody Vanderlip of Gowen, Daniel Vanderlip & sandy Sinclair of Sheridan, and Ken & Vickie Vanderlip of Lowell; a sister, Carol Van’tHof of Gowen; a brother, Keith Rentsman of Sidney; twelve grandchildren; twenty-three great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews, including special niece, Tracy Linder, and great-niece, Jennifer.

Visitation is from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday at Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville, where funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The Rev. Jerry Jones, pastor of the First Congregational Church, will officiate and military honors, rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps, will conclude the ceremonies. Burial will take place in the spring at Spencer Mills Cemetery.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Merrill’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on January 25, 2014 at 12:00 am


    01/31/2014 –

    Craig Crawford

    So sorry to here about Merrill. I worked with him for over 30 years at Towers. He was a great guy and I will miss talking with him about old cars..

    01/29/2014 –

    bill and carol reed

    Annie, so sorry to hear about Merrill. Got our paper too late to know.Our thoughts are with you and the family.Remeber all the good memories. Love you annie.

    01/29/2014 –

    Stu Jensen

    I remember Merrill from Towers. He was a very good maintainence man and was always helpful to me and was really appreciated for that.
    Stu Jensen

    01/29/2014 –

    Gertrude Anderson Mazurek

    Anna Mae, My condolences on the loss of your husband. As I live in Kalamazoo Mi area I did read it in the Daily News Paper, after Barbara mentioned it today. (Dixie’s Sis-Gert)

    01/29/2014 –

    Jill (Johnson) Scott

    So sorry to hear about Merrill. He was a great man and I remember many camping trips with the Rentsmans, Millers, Pences and the Johnsons.

    01/29/2014 –

    Dianne (Kessel) Teunis

    So sorry to hear of Merrill’s passing, my thoughts are with you all, I have many great memories of him and his family. He will be greatly missed by all. Love to you all

    01/28/2014 –

    Jack and Amy Davis

    Terri and Kim,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. Let us know if you need anything.
    Amy & Jack

    01/28/2014 –

    Joe & Debbie Dyer

    Joe & Debbie Dyer has sent this Expressions of Sympathy card.

    01/27/2014 –

    Randy klepper

    Went to school with Merl at Greenville High. Always enjoyed our friendship.

    Randy & Linda Klepper

    | |

Leave a Condolence