Renate I. Rothenberger, 85, of Centralia, Wash., passed away from heart failure, April 8, 2021, at the Tacoma General Hospital. She was born in Berlin-Schoneberg, Germany, March 11, 1936. Renate was second child of the late Richard and Kathe Thomas.
The daughter of an award-winning interior decorator, Renate developed a keen eye for the art form in private and public displays throughout Berlin. She joined her father as he designed spaces for the government, business community and private homes, learning the subtleties of design, from dignified to fanciful. Renate graduated from Ulm Interior Design School in Aachen, Germany.
In 1960, Renate married Francis "Tom" Rothenberger. They had two daughters. After Tom retired from the Army, they settled in Centralia, Wash., to be near family. Renate had the innate ability to make everyone who entered her beautiful, seasonally decorated home feel welcomed and valued. From German goodies to an open heart, Renate generously hosted the community in her home. She often could be found playing board games and Uno with guests to gales of laughter. A song always filled her heart and her home. Whether humming a chorus or singing with friends, music was a constant part of her life.
Renate met and befriended many people through volunteering and joining various clubs. She was a member of the Centralia Hospital Auxiliary, the Sweet Adelines and the Preceptor Gamma Gamma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. She also volunteered on political campaigns and various other initiatives close to her heart.
Renate's entire being radiated with love and warmth for children, animals and nature. She provided exceptional childcare to friends and family. To many, she became a loving and dear Oma. As adults, her former charges knew her doors were always open for a hug, a game or just to talk. She would always listen with a compassionate ear.
Renate is survived by her daughters, Gabriella "Bobbie" Rader and Denise Beck; four grandchildren; one great-grandson; as well as numerous godchildren; and nephews and nieces in Germany.
Renate will be deeply missed at home and abroad. She joins our Heavenly Father with her parents; her sisters, Giselle and Dagmar; brothers, Dieter and Klaus; husband Tom; legions of friends; and multitudes of pets.