Mara N. Renier, age 56 of Cambridge, MN died on August 1, 2014.
Mara was born in Minneapolis, MN at St. Marys Hospital on July 11, 1958 to Marilou and Lew Johnson of Fridley.
After graduating from Totino-Grace High School in 1976, she moved on to the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with a political science major in 1982. For the next few years, she was devoted to her work at the State Capitol, working in Governor Perpichs office. She then moved on to work in the State Senate. After her time in the political arena, she became an administrative assistant for the family practice residency program director at Smileys Point Clinic-Riverside. In those years, she won the heart of Budd Renier, and they married in 1990 at St. Adalberts church in St. Paul, MN. After the birth of their first son Joe in 1992, the family moved to Cambridge, MN, where Mara became deeply involved in the community. Sam, their second son was born in 1994 and their family was complete.
Mara was a devoted wife and mother, touching all who knew her. Her sanctuary was Otter Tail Lake and she spread that joy to her family and many friends. She was a member of the University of Minnesota water ski club and took great joy in teaching pyramid skiing to her boys and their friends. She captured the essence of what she loved about Otter Tail each summer in a video documentary, which was shared with many friends and family and those videos will be cherished forever. Her greatest love and passions in life were her two boys, her husband and her cats. Mara ensured the family success by always being prepared. She was always one step ahead, making endless to do lists and anticipating every possible detail that absolutely could not be overlooked. She loved to watch her boys run and was involved with the Cambridge-Isanti and Gustavus Adolphus Cross Country teams, and also volunteered her time at numerous sporting events throughout the boys high school careers.
She believed in the common good and was willing to fight for everything that she believed in with passion. She never shied away from a controversial issue. She lived by one of her favorite quotes: The ultimate happiness is the attainment of a soulful life, and that soulful life is not lightness and levity, rather, it is complexity.
Her favorite quote in a time of grief comes from Aeschylus: God, whose law it is that he who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Mara is survived by her husband Budd Renier of Cambridge, MN; sons Joe and Sam Renier of Cambridge, MN; mother Marilou Johnson of Blaine, MN; sister Melanie Morgan of Sacramento, CA; brothers Brian (Rose) Johnson, Todd Johnson, Craig (Kris) Johnson and Drew (Teresa) Johnson of Minneapolis; countless dear nieces and nephews on both the Johnson and Renier sides, as well as so many friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Lew Johnson, her uncle Dick Smith and her grandparents.
Visitation will be Friday, August 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home and also one hour prior to the service at church. A memorial service will be Saturday, August 9 at 11 a.m. at the Common Ground A United Methodist Community in Cambridge, MN. Online condolences at www.carlsonlillemoen.com. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Childrens Surgery International or to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for orphaned elephants. The family would like to thank their friends, family and the community of Cambridge for their love and kindness.