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Peter Joseph "P.J." Renzo

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Peter Joseph Renzo, Jr, known as P.J. (aka The Buff/Buffalo) to family and friends, passed away at home on Monday, March 27, 2023. He was 77 years old.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3:00 pm on Monday, April 3rd at the Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 15 Indianola Road Des Moines. Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm until service time at the church.


P.J. was born on Thursday, October 18, 1945, to Peter & Candida (Zenti) Renzo. He was a lifelong member of the Des Moines community, the Saint Anthony Catholic Church, a charter member of the Italian American Club and graduated from Dowling High School in 1963. He retired from Action Warehouse in Des Moines. As a younger man he greatly enjoyed hunting with his father. He was always a lover of sports and played softball in the City Men’s Softball League. He loved to cheer for Notre Dame Football, the Yankees (he was a huge Mickey Mantle fan) and the Celtics. He loved to go to Notre Dame football games, many times with his brother Joe, as well as Francie Anania, Pete Marasco, Alec Quijano, and TaTa Vonk. He especially was so happy to take his nephew Peter Renzo to his first Notre Dame game as a youngster. He also, when younger, loved to play golf. His other passions were endlessly teasing his nieces and nephews, grabbing lunch or dinner at his nephew’s restaurant, Cosi Cucina Italian Grill, and he and Joe spent time together canning peppers for family and friends. Also, Buff loved to make contributions (wink/wink) to the many buildings at Prairie Meadows Casino.


P.J. was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Julianne Renzo Naylor and nephew Eric Naylor. He is survived by his brother Joe and his wife Diane, and his many nieces Juliet (Brett) Upchurch, Maria (Cody Christensen) Anderson, and nephew Peter Joseph Renzo as well great nieces and nephews, Atiana, Cartyr, Joey, Cain and River.



Special THANK YOU to Steve Lavia for his great help to our family following PJ’s death. Memorials may be directed to the family.



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