Erich Arthur Renz

1998 - 2021


Erich Arthur Renz 

February 5, 1998 – March 1, 2021  

A life too short: 23-year-old big-hearted young man finding his way

Erich was born February 5, 1998 making our family perfectly balanced. His early years were spent smiling, drooling and capturing our hearts with his gentle way. He truly belonged with us and in the beautiful network of families on Mitchell Ave in Arlington Heights, IL.   

Having an early appreciation for music, Erich played Suzuki violin for 6 years at Westgate Elementary School in their Music for Youth program – he even joined band where he took up the clarinet.  

Like most kids, Erich participated in Park District sports and found enjoyment and another network of friends within the Muskies swim team which, in turn, led him to a lifeguard position with the Arlington Heights Park District.  

At Rolling Meadows High School (2012-2016), Erich was active in water polo, swim team, band and had an easy talent for all things computer related. It was his decision to go west to Arizona, receiving a scholarship to attend NAU for Computer Science.  His parents followed him to Flagstaff which became home.  Most recently, Erich was in the midst of exploring his path while working at Wal-Mart on the Fresh team.  

Erich adored the outdoors - hiking with his family scaling the local mountains and red rocks of Sedona, biking, skiing, and spending time at the family lake house in Upper Peninsula (UP) Michigan.  Normally an avid reader, he most recently discovered podcasts and even started to cultivate a talent for cooking spicy foods.  Erich was keen on games of all sorts, especially online gaming with many friends.   

Erich was becoming a self-reliant man exploring the surrounding area of Flagstaff, meeting people and living life in his gentle, kind, good-natured manner.  He did not own a car so used his bike as a primary mode of transportation but did not see it as a burden – he enjoyed riding his bike. With a cruel twist of fate, he was abruptly taken in a tragic accident with an automobile on his commute to work.   

Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery with gold and silver lacquer. Our family has been shattered and we take enormous comfort in the outpouring of love and support from those who knew Erich. Your shared memories provide lacquer to repair us in hopes to once again be whole - yet imperfect.   

He is a new guardian to his mother Renee, father Mark, sister Rachel, Aunts Risë, Diane and Carla, Uncles Russell and Mike, cousins Kenny, Samantha, and Nichole, and Grandma Renz.  

There is little doubt that Erich was greeted with a snuggle from Alfie the family dog, a big bowl of ice cream from Grandpa Rytlewski, a big hug from Grandma Rytlewski, companionship with his early morning buddy Grandpa Renz, among many other dear loved ones.  

You will forever be in our hearts Erich.   

At birth - mighty fists, solid joy

In youth - good-natured and steadfast 

In adulthood - towering yet gentle 

like a ponderosa pine 

Kind green hazel eyes of selflessness 

Softly, softly the gentle giant leaves his tread on our heart 

The family will host an online Celebration of Life on Sunday June 27th, 2021. Please RSVP under events at to receive updates and details.  Also, let us know if you would like to share a story.   Questions -  use the message in the event or contact us at 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Victim Witness Services Coconino County



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Lozano's Flagstaff Mortuary

2545 N. Fourth Street, Flagstaff, AZ

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24 trees planted in memory of Erich


The Berg family

April 4, 2021 9:29 AM

With love and remembrance of Erich.
The Berg family

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Erich Arthur Renz

Barbara Shovers

March 20, 2021 11:20 AM

Wisdom Seekers wishes to donate these trees in memory of Erich. His mother has been a long-time member of our group. Our thoughts and blessings go out to the Renz family.
Barbara Shovers

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Erich Arthur Renz

Connie Bynum

March 19, 2021 10:13 AM

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Erich Arthur Renz

The Todsen Family

March 19, 2021 8:17 AM

In memory of Erich Renz
The Todsen Family

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Erich Arthur Renz

Grandma Renz and Raymond Claes

March 18, 2021 2:52 PM

In memory of a truly wonderful young man who was taken from us all too soon. He will truly be missed!
Grandma Renz and Raymond Claes

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Erich Arthur Renz

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