PENGRA—Rene Pengra passed away March 3, 2021

PENGRA—On March 3, 2021, we sadly said goodbye to our dearly loved mother, Rene Pengra.

In this time of profound sadness over the loss of a woman who devoted her life to us, we her family, celebrate her.

Our mother, Leona Lurrene “Rene” Wood was born Sept. 14, 1932, to Arthur John and Dorthy Melvina Wood in Seattle, Wash.

In 1936, after losing her father in a tragic logging accident, Dorthy married Lloyd Charbonneau, blessing Mom with a loving father. She graduated from Mission High School in San Francisco in 1950. In 1953, she received her registered nursing degree from St. Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco.

In 1954, Mom married Jean Clare “Skip” Waihoja, whose Marine Corp career expanded her nursing opportunities to Kodiak, Alaska and Twentynine Palms, Calif.

After their divorce, she relocated to Springfield, Ore., in 1965 and began working at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, Ore. 

In 1967, she married Vern Hendricksen who passed away in 1981. In 1970, she was honored to be a member of the “first open heart team” at Sacred Heart Hospital. She went to work at Western Lane Hospital, Florence, Ore., in 1982, ending a 42-year career — the majority spent as a surgical RN when she retired from Peace Harbor Hospital in 1997.

After being widowed for 24 years, she found the “love of her life” when she married Byron Hill Pengra in 2005.

Sadly, he passed away in 2009.

Our Mom was a member of several bowling leagues, Ocean Dunes Women’s Golf Association and an avid Oregon Duck fan.  She enjoyed many family activities throughout her life, including poker (“As long as it was five card stud”), keno, pull taps, digging clams, RV camping and every Rhododendron Festival. 

She was also very fortunate to travel the world with one of her best friends, Ulva Fyfe.

At age 85, she was still participating in exercise classes and singing in the Florence community choir.

Mom left many memories in each of our hearts and everyone who loved her was enriched by her life.

She is survived by her sisters: Diane Cordell (husband Wayne) and Darlene Walton (husband Bill); her cousins: Dale Radcliff and wife Mary Lou, and Rick Radcliff and wife Cinda; her daughters: Cathy Lake  (husband Armand) and Susie Foster (husband Dave(; grandchildren: Lincoln Foster and wife Aletha, Ryann Foster, Nick Lake and Andy Lake; great-grandchildren: Brittney Lake, Isabella Lake, Colton Foster and Flynn Foster.

Mom is also survived by Byron’s children: Sue Scarberry, Joyce Rines, Teresa Anderson, Bob Pengra and their families, in addition to other special family members and friends. 

Mom’s life will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Dunes, 85060 S. Highway 101, in Florence, Ore., 97439. 

Our family would like to thank each of you for your love and support. God Bless You!

In lieu of flowers please consider contributions in our Mother’s name to Friends of Florence, “” or P.O. Box 598, Florence, Oregon 97439.


More In Obituaries