Fern Renner was the wife of Lawrence Welk, the famous American accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario. She passed away on February 13, 2002, at the age of 98, in Santa Monica, California. What was the cause of her death? How did she live her life? And what was her role in the success of her husband and his show? This article will explore these questions and more.
Fern Renner’s Early Life and Marriage
Fern Renner was born on August 26, 1903, in St. Anthony, North Dakota. She was the 13th of 14 children born to Elizabeth and Mathias Renner, an immigrant family from Germany. Eight of her siblings died while Fern was still a child, and her beloved father died when she was just three years old. She grew up in a poor and hardworking family, and learned to be resilient and resourceful.
She met Lawrence Welk when he was performing with his band at a local dance hall. They fell in love and got married on April 16, 1931. They had three children together: Shirley, Donna, and Lawrence Jr. Fern supported her husband’s musical career and followed him wherever he went. She was his loyal partner, his best friend, and his biggest fan.
Fern Renner’s Role in The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show was a popular musical variety show that aired from 1951 to 1982. It featured Welk and his orchestra, along with singers, dancers, and comedians. The show was known for its wholesome and family-friendly entertainment, and its signature “champagne music” style.
Fern Renner was not a performer, but she played a vital role behind the scenes. She helped her husband with the business aspects of the show, such as contracts, finances, and bookings. She also took care of the personal needs of the cast and crew, such as arranging travel, lodging, and meals. She was like a mother figure to everyone on the show, and they affectionately called her “Mom Welk”.
Fern Renner was also instrumental in creating the warm and friendly atmosphere that the show was famous for. She welcomed the guests and the audience with her gracious and hospitable manner. She often hosted parties and gatherings at her home, where she cooked delicious meals and entertained with her witty and charming personality. She made everyone feel like part of the Welk family.
Fern Renner’s Later Years and Death
After The Lawrence Welk Show ended in 1982, Fern and Lawrence retired to their home in Santa Monica, California. They enjoyed spending time with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They also traveled around the world, visiting places like Europe, Asia, and Australia. They remained active and involved in various charitable and civic causes, such as the Lawrence Welk Foundation, the Lawrence Welk Music Center, and the Lawrence Welk Resort.
Fern Renner was devastated when her husband died on May 17, 1992, at the age of 89, from pneumonia. She missed him terribly, but she continued to live with dignity and grace. She maintained her interest in music, art, and literature, and kept in touch with her friends and fans. She also supported the efforts to preserve and celebrate the legacy of her husband and his show, such as the Welk Musical Family Reunion, the Welk Stars on Tour, and the Welk Television Network.
Fern Renner died on February 13, 2002, at the age of 98, in Santa Monica, California. The cause of her death was not publicly disclosed, but it was reported that she died peacefully in her sleep. She was buried next to her husband at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Fern Renner’s Impact and Influence
Fern Renner was a remarkable woman who lived a long and fruitful life. She was a loving wife, a devoted mother, a caring grandmother, and a generous friend. She was a strong and independent woman who faced many challenges and hardships with courage and optimism. She was a humble and gracious woman who shared her gifts and talents with others. She was a loyal and supportive woman who helped her husband achieve his dreams and goals.
Fern Renner was an integral part of the success and popularity of The Lawrence Welk Show. She was the heart and soul of the show, and the glue that held the Welk family together. She was admired and respected by the cast, the crew, and the fans. She was a role model and an inspiration for many women and girls.
Fern Renner’s cause of death may not be widely known, but her life and legacy are well remembered. She left behind a rich and lasting heritage of music, laughter, and love. She touched the lives of millions of people with her kindness, generosity, and joy. She was a true lady, a class act, and a legend. She was Fern Renner, the wife of Lawrence Welk.