Jay was born April 9, 1935, in Grand Haven, Mich., to Martin and Jeanette (Hop) Reenders. He was a 1953 graduate of Grand Haven High School. Jay furthered his education at Central Michigan University, earning his B.A. and then he obtained his M.A. at Michigan State University. On August 24, 1957, Jay married Eleanor Rhoda Jesty in Grand Haven. Jay was the band director at Allendale Public Schools for 15 years, then became the principal at Allendale Elementary School for 19 years until his retirement in 1993. In 2014, Jay was inducted into the Allendale Public Schools Hall of Fame. After retirement, Jay was the founder and administrator for Grand Rapids Academy for Christian Education (GRACE) for 15 years in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jay was a member of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Oostburg, Wisconsin. Over the years, he was a member of Seventh Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich,, where he served as elder, adult Sunday school teacher and catechism teacher; during his time at Eastmanville United Reformed Church in Eastmanville, Mich., he served as elder; and also served as elder and played the organ at Allendale First Reformed Church in Allendale. Jay was a member of Gideons International. Over the years, he served as editor for FACTS, a monthly Christian newsletter. Jay enjoyed music, riding horses and competitive horse barrel racing. Jay also loved traveling out west, especially to Wyoming, where he lived for five years.
Jay is survived by his loving wife, Rhoda; four daughters: Susan (Monty) McNaught, DVM, of Blunt, S.D., Cindy (Clint) Beaver of Sheridan, Wyoming, Sarah (Mark) Rittgers, Ph.D., of Front Royal, Va., and Symantha Reenders, DPT, of Atlanta, Ga.; one son, B.J. (Amanda) Reenders of Oostburg; nine grandchildren: Dustin McNaught, Lindsey, Madison and Noah Beaver, Nichole and Megan Rittgers, and Austin, Jenna and Ty Reenders; one brother-in-law, Paul Lampe of Grand Haven; and three nieces: Marta, Paula and Betsy.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents; one granddaughter, Melissa Beaver; and one sister, Mariann Lampe.
A funeral service to celebrate Jay's life will be held Thursday, February 7, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Bethel OPC in Oostburg, with the Rev. David Veldhorst officiating. A burial will take place at Oostburg Cemetery.
Relatives and friends may greet the family at Bethel OPC in Oostburg on Thursday, February 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m.
There will be a memorial visitation on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at Eastmanville United Reformed Church in Eastmanville, Mich., from 1-4 p.m.
A memorial fund is being established in his name for Gideons International.
For online condolences and additional information, please visit www.wenigfh.com.
The Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg, Wisconsin (920-564-2771), is serving the Reenders family with arrangements.