In Memory of



Obituary for James Reneau

James “Jim” McLemore Reneau, 67, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV, after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his loved ones.

He was born April 1, 1952 in London, KY, a son of Rev. Oren N. Reneau of Grafton and the late Florence H. (Sherrod) Reneau.

Jim was a 1970 graduate of Grafton High School. In 1974, he graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and a minor in science. He continued his education with a Master of Administration from West Virginia University. During his time at West Virginia Wesleyan College, he met his wife of 42 years, Nancy J. (Hurt) Reneau. They built their wonderful life in Grafton, WV, where they both served as educators with the Taylor County Board of Education. Jim worked for 33 years first teaching science and outdoor education, then as Assistant Principal and later Principal of Taylor County Middle School.

Jim was a faithful member of the First Christian Church of Grafton, Disciples of Christ, where he served as an elder for many years. After Jim retired from the Taylor County Board of Education, he continued to support the Grafton and larger West Virginia community as a member of Grafton Rotary (2007 – 2017) and spent his winters outside working with the Canaan Valley Ski Patrol (2007 – 2017). He was equally dedicated to his family and chose to devote his time to his grandchildren after the birth of his first grandchild in 2017.

In addition to his professional achievements and community involvement, Jim was an avid outdoorsman, adventurer, and woodworker. He loved being in the woods hunting, in the trout streams fishing, and in the mountains hiking, skiing, camping, canoeing, or biking. He also loved to create through cooking, grilling, or working in his woodshop. Jim was happy when he was engaged in any of his many hobbies, but he was happiest when he was sharing these hobbies with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy J. (Hurt) Reneau; son Jeremy Reneau, his wife, Leah Devine, and their daughter, Clara Reneau, all of Elkins, WV; daughter, Kelly Collins, her husband, Sean Collins, and their son, Silas Collins, all of Zionville, NC; his father, Rev. Oren N. Reneau, of Grafton, WV, and eight brothers and sisters: Carolyn (Steve) Shepler of Elkins, WV; Susan (Ed) Westfall of Grafton, WV; Dorothy (Rock) Garton of Jane Lew, WV; Mary (Bob) Smith of Elkins, WV; Joyce (Leon) Okes of Parkersburg, WV; Tom (Deneane) Reneau of Grafton, WV; Bill (Pam) Reneau of Chesterfield, VA; Paul (Julie) Reneau of Grafton, WV; one sister-in-law, Juanita Hurt, of Houston, TX; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Jane Hurt, of Pennsville, NJ, his father-in-law, Jack Hurt, of Pennsville, NJ, and his brother-in-law, Richard Hurt, of Houston, TX.

At Jim’s request, he will be cremated. A gathering of family and friends will be held on Sunday, August 4 from 1:00 - 8:00 PM at Donald G Ford Funeral Home in Grafton, WV. A celebration of life will be held on Monday, August 5 at 11:00 AM at the First Christian Church in Grafton, WV, officiated by Pastor Jeff Hanlin.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the First Christian Church of Grafton, 109 McGraw Avenue Grafton, WV 26354.