Obituary: Janet Lee Rensing, longtime secretary in political science, 60

Janet Lee Rensing, secretary in the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences for the past 20 years, died Oct. 14. She was 60.

As secretary, Rensing managed the political science department chair’s schedule, coordinated department visitors and events and kept the office running smoothly.

Rensing worked with many department chairs, faculty and students during her tenure and was especially fond of doctoral students, said Andrew D. Martin, Ph.D., professor and chair of political science.

“Jan enjoyed watching this group of young people grow up, get married, start families,” Martin said.

Martin appreciated Rensing’s efforts to keep the political science office’s atmosphere lighthearted and fun. “She did a really good job when called on but always kept a sense of humor,” said Martin, who first met Rensing nearly 15 years ago as a graduate student. “All of us in the department viewed Janet as a true friend.”

Born Oct. 19, 1947, Rensing graduated from Academy of Notre Dame in Belleville, Ill., in 1966. Before joining the Washington University staff in December 1987, Rensing worked as a salesperson for Lane Bryant and also as a keypunch operator for McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing Co.

Rensing is survived by sisters Karen Rensing, an accountant in the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences; Patti Rensing, a senior accounting assistant in the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine; Jo Anne Rensing; and Mary Beth Rensing. A funeral service was held Oct. 18.