Clayton Van Rens

Clayton “Skip” Van Rens, 84, of Shawano, formerly of Gillett, passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2019, holding his wife’s hand after a courageous battle with cancer. Skip was born in Green Bay on July 3, 1934, to the late Frank and Mabel (DeKelver) Van Rens. Skip was baptized at St. Phillips Church in Green Bay. He graduated from Green Bay East High School in 1953. In 1957, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, and later he was also stationed in Germany for one and a half years. He was honorably discharged in 1959.

Skip married Betty Heise on Aug. 29, 1959, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Breed. Skip returned to Green Bay to work at Northern Paper and then moved to Gillett and began his employment at Gillett Cement in May 1966 and then retired after 37 1/2 years.

He enjoyed making yard projects, taking care of his lawn, decorating for Christmas, motorcycling, watching and feeding the birds, watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play sports. He also enjoyed playing cards with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading westerns, watching WWE wrestling, and most of all he loved his family get-togethers. He looked forward to Saturday nights at Shawano Speedway with his family and friends. He is a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Breed.

Skip is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty, of Shawano; four children, Terri (Mike) Reuter, of Shawano, Russ (Ellen Siebold) Van Rens, of Abrams, Paul (Treana) Van Rens, of Gillett, Jon Van Rens, of Lena; his brother, Jerry (Elaine) Van Rens, of Marinette; his aunt, Almira Bowers; his sister-in-law, Isabelle Luebeck; his brother-in-law, Leonard (Delores) Heise Sr.; six grandchildren, Wendie (Nick) Ingler, Jenny (Chris) Gospodarek, Matt (Danielle) Van Rens, Joe (Kristy) Reuter, Hailey Van Rens and Corey (Sam) Janquart; and 11 great-grandchildren. Skip is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Doc Van Rens and Mel Van Rens; his mother and father-in-law, Art and Clara Heise; two brothers-in-law, Ecker Luebeck and Arnie Heise.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Breed from 9 a.m. until the funeral service at 11 a.m. with Pastor Paul Scheunemann officiating. Military honors will follow the service. Clayton will be interred in Nicolet Memorial Park Mausoleum. Gruetzmacher Funeral Home in Suring is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at

A special thank you to Dr. Clemens, Dr. Mindy Frimodig, Dr. MacDonald, Dr. Moddar, Dr. Mortara and to Unity Hospice and its staff for the wonderful care they offered to Skip during his time of need.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Skip’s memory.