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Rena G. Jacques

January 31, 2024
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Rena Jacques Obituary

Renata "Rena" (Granz) Jacques, 98, of 32 Lincoln Street, Greenfield, MA passed peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 following a period of declining health. She was born on December 9, 1925 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany, now known as the Polish City of Wroclaw after the close of WWII in 1945. She was educated in local public schools to the Baccalaureate Level. At the end of WWII, she and her family were evacuated from Silesia and became displaced persons.

She went to her sister's home in Berlin and joined the underground and rescue activities until the arrival of the Soviet Army. In 1946 she escaped to the US occupied Western Zone and worked in the UNNRA camps and eventually, as an interpreter, clerk and instructor for the US Army and US Air Force. There, she met and married her husband, Richard P. "Sam" Jacques. They were blessed with five children during Sam's Air Force career and after retirement settled in his native Western Massachusetts.

During their tours of duty overseas, she wrote for and edited publications for military personnel and monitored court proceedings of American soldiers for the defense team. She began taking courses at the University of Maryland upon return to the US and continued at GCC, eventually earning a double degree with honors from Smith College, followed by an MA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In later years, she was employed in several clerical and library positions and later at the former Wilson's Department Store until her husband Sam's terminal illness intervened.

Rena was a member of the Greenfield Women's Club, FCPH Board of Organized Work, Franklin County Smith College Club, Hadassah Chapter of Temple Israel-Greenfield and after her husband's passing became a member of and volunteer for the DAVA Post 33. She also enjoyed giving presentations concerning life in Nazi Germany to students at the Cohen Center of Holocaust at Keene State College, Keene, NH.

Her interests remained in history and historical research. Her love belonged to the memory of her beloved husband Sam, her children, grand and great grandchildren, as well as her many friends, the natural world in all forms, especially pets, gardening and in gratitude for this great county,.

Survivors include her children, Richard P. Jacques, Jr., (Elaine) of Independence, Missouri, Mark L. H. Jacques and his wife Zoe C. Kinnunen of Greenfield, MA, Claudia R. Schlotterback (Quentin) of Kansas City, Missouri and Sandra A. Silva (Larry) of Denver, Colorado, along with their many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to remember her with affection.

In keeping with Rena's request for simplicity, services in celebration of her life will be private. Rena will be interred at the Massachusetts Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, MA, where she will be reunited with her beloved husband Sam who predeceased her in September of 2004. A Celebration of Life gathering will take place in the Spring, when family are able to gather to honor her memory and reflect on her many gifts.

Memorial donations in Rena's memory are suggested to the Dakin Animal Shelter, (of which Rena was a staunch supporter) P.O Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01001. The McCarthy

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