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Rena Anstandig wanted to find 'best in people'

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News
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Rena Anstandig

Open-minded, engaging, warm and a lifelong learner — that is how family remembered Rena Anstandig of West Bloomfield and Traverse City.

Mrs. Anstandig died Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at 93.

Her son, Marshall Anstandig, said Wednesday that his mother was energetic, quick-witted and a loving person who wanted to find the best in people.

"I didn’t know anyone who didn’t enjoy being with her," said Anstandig, senior vice president and general counsel for MediaNews Group. "I grew up in Oak Park, and when I came home to see my friends they would say, 'You better bring your mom.' "

Born Rena Perry in Akron, Colorado, Mrs. Anstandig met her husband Johnny Anstandig, an Army corporal stationed in Denver, while she was working for Continental Airlines in its administrative and corporate offices.

The couple married in 1945 and returned to his hometown of Detroit, where they started a family and shared a life together for more than 65 years.

Mrs. Anstandig was a Sinai Hospital volunteer for many years and president of the Gershwin Chapter of B'nai B'rith.

Anstandig said his mother was a faithful friend and enjoyed time together with her lunch gang and morning walking group at Twelve Oaks Mall. She had always seen the latest movie, read the latest book and had her finger on the pulse of current events and pop culture, family said.

Mrs. Anstandig moved to Traverse City in 2018 to be closer to family.

"Her last days were spent at Munson Hospice House in Traverse City, and the interesting thing is the people there said my mom made them smile. They found her to have a nice sense of humor, notwithstanding her travails. That is always how she was," he said.

Anstandig is survived by her children, Leonard, Marshall and Julie Wolf; four grandchildren; and and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2010.

Anstandig's funeral is at noon on Friday at the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield with Rabbi Harold Loss officiating. Burial will be at Beth El Memorial Park in Livonia.

Memorials may be made to the Munson Hospice House in Traverse City or the American Cancer Society in Southfield.


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