Helaine “Ginger” Renner, 83, passed away on Jan. 12, 2018, at her home in Skaneateles. She was pre-deceased by her beloved husband of 59 years, Dr. Robert R. Renner and her sister, Dolores “Dee” Rudiger. Surviving are her four children: Debra A. of Delmar, N.Y.; Tara L. of North Syracuse; Reid R. of Appling, GA; and Tamara L. of Skaneateles. In addition, she leaves behind several nieces and nephews and her beloved dog, Tasha.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Ginger grew up in Berlin, MD, on the Eastern Shore. Salutatorian of her high school class, she then attended the Thomas Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing where she met her husband, who was doing his internship at the Medical School. He accidentally slept through their first date, but, as she said, she got even by marrying him! When her husband joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, she transferred to the University of Hawaii where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing with top honors. Later, while working as a member of the nursing school faculty at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital, she attended Syracuse University, earning her master’s degree, summa cum laude, in adult education.
During the late 1980s, she developed an interest in wildlife rehabilitation. She earned her New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator license and, over the years, cared for hundreds of injured and/or abandoned animals in her home’s “Second Chance” nursery. Raccoons were Ginger’s primary passion, but she also cared for a variety of other small mammals whenever they were in need. She was very proud when the National Wildlife Federation designated her property as a wildlife habitat. Her love of, and dedication to, all animals (both wild and domestic) was unending.
She was also a life member of the Finger Lakes S.P.C.A. where she served as a member of the board of directors and as chairwoman of the education committee. Other memberships included the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society, the World Wildlife Fund, the Fund for Animals, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation and the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. Besides helping animals, she was also dedicated to supporting organizations that helped veterans.
There will be no calling hours and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to her favorite charity, Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, P.O. Box 567, Kanab, UT 84741-0567.
To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.