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Obituary: Renate Dorothea Rodenburg

Renate Dorothea Rodenburg, 71, died peacefully while surrounded by her family on Sept. 8, 2012 in her home at 102 Springdale Way, Chapel Hill, N.C. She suffered from metastatic ocular melanoma. Renate was born in Goettingen, Germany, on Nov. 7, 1940 to the late Dr. Rudolph and Anna Binnewies.

Renate completed her education and obtained a degree in teaching from the University of Goettingen, Germany. She spent some time traveling in the United States before she met the love of her life on a bus traveling to Yosemite National Park in California. Renate and Hank married on Aug. 9, 1964. They lived in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut while raising their three children before moving to Oakville, Canada, for business reasons in 1987. There she continued her skills in and love for gardening and served in several functions including President of the Oakville Horticultural Society. In 2006 she and Hank moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to be closer to their children. She enjoyed the opportunity to go to many concerts and take courses at Duke University (OLLI). She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Chapel Hill where she was a Pastoral Visitor on the church’s Caring Ministry team. She also volunteered weekly at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.

Renate is survived by her husband, Hank J. Rodenburg, and brother, Christoph G. Binnewies. She was mother to Annette (Dave) Clark of Redwood City, Calif., Mark (Carolyn) Rodenburg of Leesburg, Va., and Inez (Brad) Harville of Danville, Va.; and grandmother to Stacy, Steven, Mathew, Alyssa, Megan, Emma and Sofia.

Renate was a devoted wife, wonderful mother and cherished friend to many. She will always be remembered as an avid gardener and lover of classical music and art who appreciated the beauty in nature, was a wonderful cook and cared deeply for her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

There will be a memorial service at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Chapel Hill (106 Purefoy Road, Chapel Hill, N.C.), on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in honor of Renate D. Rodenburg to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation (ocularmelanoma.org or P.O. Box 29261, Richmond VA 23242-0261) or to UNC Hospice (unchealthcare.org/site/hospice/donations or P.O. Box 1077, Pittsboro, NC 27312, (919) 542-5545).

The family wishes to thank all who provided support, love and caring during her illness.

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