I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you
Sula Jane Graham Renz, our beloved mother, mother-in-law, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away at her home in Napa on Sunday, March 3rd 2019.
Jane was born in Stafford, Kansas on August 16th, 1937 to Robert and Louvie May Graham, the second of four children. She traveled the Midwest with her family until they settled in Vallejo, California during the war where her father found work at Mare Island when she was in the fourth grade. She was an editor for her junior high school’s yearbook and also became a member of the Rainbow Girls.
While she was in Vallejo, Jane met her best friend and soulmate, Owen Renz, whom she married October 8th, 1955 and remained in love with for 56 years. Together they started a family in Vallejo where their son Donald and then their first daughter Keri were born. They moved to Napa in 1962, settling near the site of the future Vintage High School where they welcomed their third child Brenda into the world.
While in Napa, Jane participated in square dancing with the Do-Si-Dos in Vallejo and the Boot Heel Ramblers in Napa and also ran a small business (The Yarn Shoppe) in the present location of the Napa Outlets for a short time in the late 1960’s. Jane was an accomplished artisan in sewing, knitting, and crochet; she also excelled in tole painting and made many wonderful wooden creations together with Owen for their family and friends. Jane was an Avon representative for many years, as well as a volunteer for the American Heart Association.
One of the highlights of her year was the annual Christmas get-together at her home where generations of family and close friends would gather to laugh, talk, and dine on her delicious fudge and other goodies. There, she would be at her happiest with Owen by her side playing with their grandchildren in the house and in Owen’s workshop, cutting out forms to nail and paint.
After Owen retired, they made many trips around the US and to Hawaii, where they would visit their favorite island of Maui several times. They were there for each other and their family when they lost their son Don to cancer at the early age of 30.
After Owen passed away in 2012, Jane continued living in her home and continued participating in life with her family as best she could until the time of her passing, surrounded by her daughters and grandchildren and their families. Jane leaves behind her daughter Keri (George) and her husband Joe of Napa and her daughter Brenda (Miller) and her husband Darin of Garden Valley. She also has eleven grandchildren: Heather of Benicia; Holly and Joshua of Napa; Nathan of Sacramento; Garrett of Dixon; Anna of Napa; Nicole of Roseville; Jeremy of Julian; Brandon of Garden Valley; Dylan of Roseville; and Alyssa of Grizzly Flat; along with twenty-three great-grandchildren.
As per Jane and Owen’s wishes, no services will be held. Their ashes will be mingled together and scattered at sea through the auspices of the Nautilus Society. Donations in her name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.