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Katharine Elizabeth "Libby" Renas
Viewing: March 11, 2017 (Saturday) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Service: March 11, 2017 (Saturday) at 10:30 a.m.
Location: DeVol Funeral Home

Katharine Elizabeth Renas, known to her family and friends as Libby, passed away on March 5, 2017 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital after suffering a stroke at home. She was surrounded by her husband and daughters. Libby will be remembered with a celebration of life on March 11, 2017 at DeVol Funeral Home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Burial will follow at Parklawn Memorial Gardens. 

Libby was born on February 7, 1930 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania to Karl J. Hambright and Sara D. Hambright. Libby and her brother, James K. Hambright, grew up in Burnham, Pennsylvania. After high school Libby moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Upon graduating as a RN, Libby continued to work at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in the operating room. Later in life Libby often spoke of her time nursing and was quick to tell everyone how good the doctors were in the operating rooms but there were some she would not let “cut her open”. 

While in Philadelphia, Libby met the man who would be her companion for the rest of her life, Paul E. Renas, who survives. Paul and Libby were married on November 12, 1955 in Burnham, PA. After their marriage they resided in Philadelphia until Paul was discharged from the Army. They then moved to Long Island, NY and then on to Westlake, Ohio. In 1972 they moved to Potomac, Maryland when Paul was transferred to NASA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. In 1996, Paul and Libby built their current residence in Gaithersburg, Maryland where she lived with Paul until her death. 

In addition to her husband, Libby is survived by her children: Susan E. Balfour and her husband Brian of Casper, WY; Loren Pannell and her husband Charles of Fishersville, VA; Jeffrey P. Renas; and Robyn L. Renas of Washington Grove, MD. She is also survived by her brother James K. Hambright and his wife Joyce of Lancaster, PA; her nieces and nephew: Elizabeth and Jay Anderson; Tracy and Mark Killian; David and Paola Hambright. 

Libby is also survived by her loving grandchildren: Sarah A. Balfour of Brazoria, TX; Kaitlyn E. Wondra and her husband Travis of Craig, CO; Emily C. Balfour and her fiancé John King of Casper, WY; and her step grandson Caleb Henry Pannell and his wife Abby of Fishersville, VA. In addition, Libby is survived by her great grandson Jayten C. King. 

Libby’s life revolved around caring for her family, and in her later years caring for her “grand puppies”. She especially enjoyed her daily walks with her “grand puppy” Posey and talking to the other dog owners in the Kentlands area. She also enjoyed her years in a bowling league (especially when they were in 1st place!) and was still a regular bowler until two years ago. She and Paul built a home together on Lake Mohawk in Malvern, Ohio where the family spent the seasons swimming, boating, ice skating, and sledding. Paul and Libby maintained this home for 50 years until it was time to downsize due to health issues. Libby was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago and was making her journey through this disease with the help of her husband and daughters. Libby and Paul have been members of Faith United Methodist Church in Rockville, Maryland for 45 years. Libby was active in the church through the Lydia circle. She so enjoyed the music provided through Faith UMC over the years (from Mr. Werle to Mr. Wu) and her daughters loved to hear her sing – mostly because none of us inherited her musical voice! 

In some respects the family is grateful Libby will not have to endure the final stage of Alzheimer’s but we are saddened to loose her while she still had moments of joy and happiness to give. She was our wife, mother, sister, and grandmother, but most importantly our companion and friend. We will miss her laugh and the friendly disposition she had to all she met. 

In lieu of flowers please consider giving to the charity of your choice in Libby’s name. The family wishes to thank everyone for their care, concern, friendship, and love for Libby over the years.

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