Irene Beatrice Klentz, a resident of Huntington, AR, is perhaps one of the most talented individuals in the area. She credits that talent to God, and her family roots.
“Renie,” as she’s lovingly known, is a woman of many talents. A beekeeper, lure maker, painter, and all-around crafter, Klentz stays busy working with her hands, but she always has an idea in her mind. “I was taught to never throw anything away,” Klentz said. “I was the oldest of seven kids, I think that’s why I was so thrifty. My dad was never wasteful either.”
Her great-great-grandmother, a full blood Indian, was Klentz’ heroine. She described her as a small framed woman, with coal black hair. Klentz recalled one particular meeting when she came “up from the branch.”
“I admired her. She lived up the branch and would come down even in the dark. She lived alone and I thought she sure was a great and brave lady.”
Klentz recalled that she was one with nature, and was never afraid of things like bees. Klentz inherited that love, and she tends a beehive and loves to see them thrive.
In 1976, Klentz came to Huntington. She was born in Ohio and was raised in Michigan. During her childhood, she recalled her father, Earl Russell Nagy’s,
“I had some artists in my family on my dad’s side,” added Klentz. “I guess you could say I got my love of nature from my mom’s side and my know-how from my dad’s side.”
Her love of fishing, inherited from her father, spurred her interest in learning to make wooden fishing lures. “I see wood, I see possibilities,” she added. “I got hooked on making fishing lures! And, when I am out at flea markets or if a child comes to my home, I like to give them one to encourage them to want to fish, too.”
In addition to her beekeeping and lures, Klentz also loves to paint, and work with wood. She sees her talent as a gift from God. “It’s a gift He gave me to capture what I see with my eyes.” Additionally, she said “if you follow the spiritual path, you’ll be lead right.”
When asked about her age, Klentz just smiles and says, “when I reach 104, I’ll let you know!” Until then, she plans to stay busy doing what she loves.