Renaker, 63, is survived by his wife Diane Renaker.
Since the mid-1980s, Renaker taught at many schools in district, including and . He started off as a geometry teacher at Gahr and later became a counselor. And, according to many, he did everything for the school district except become principal.
As a teacher and counselor, Renaker not only helped inspire students, but fellow colleagues as well.
“He gave me confidence as a young teacher that I could do great things for students and cultivate a school culture that provides positive experiences for students,” said Dr. Gina Zietlow, Principal of Gahr High School.
As a member of the Cerritos community for more than 30 years, Renaker was very active in local government and philanthropy. He was a proud member of the , for which he served as president last year. He was also a member of the , serving a term in 2004.
“He was such a gracious person,” said Optimist Club member and friend Marty Flax. “We (Optimus Club) put on a track meet every year with the middle school kids, and Rick was always so great with the kids, he was honest and straight with them and they always loved him. The club is working on honoring him at next year’s meet by naming it after him.”
In April 2010, Renaker and his wife moved to Fallbrook, Calif. after selling their home in Cerritos. He and his wife wanted to get away and enjoy retired life with a change of scenery. Renaker was an avid golfer, and one of the reasons he moved to Fallbrook was to enjoy a rural lifestyle and to be close to a lot of great golf courses.
Another of his hobbies was gardening. Soon after moving to Fallbrook, Renaker quickly made a mark in his new community by becoming co-vice president of the Fallbrook Garden Club.
However his move out of the area, did not deter him from keeping in touch with Cerritos community members and the town he called home for so long.
“The last time I saw him was at a golf tournament a few weeks ago,” said Sherman Kappe a friend of Renaker and fellow Optimist. “When his wife Diane called me the next day to inform me I couldn’t believe it.”
Around the Optimist Club members like Flax and Kappe remember him for having a voice and personality that was larger than life. Renaker had a voice that projected great in any acoustic settings. According to Flax, his friend never used a microphone during meetings and even with all the banter that goes on in the meeting, no one ever complained that they couldn’t hear him.
Through the words shared by his friends, family and colleagues, it's evident that Renaker leaves behind an impactful imprint on the city of Cerritos and the communities and people around it.
Renaker’s final wishes were to be cremated. His wife Diane will honor his last wishes and a small memorial will be held in his honor.
(A date has yet to be scheduled for his memorial.)