SPENCER- Richard H. Renaud,72, We lost a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, mentor, co-worker, and friend, who died at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Although he was a fighter when it came to recuperating after a severe illness and even surviving his bout with COVID-19, he succumbed to cardiovascular and renal complications.
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Rich was born in Holyoke on October 1, 1948 to Henry P. & Doris E. (Couture) Renaud. He was the eldest of five and grew up in South Holyoke where he lived a carefree life, enjoying family, friends, reading, and sports. He attended Morgan Elementary School, H.B. Lawrence Jr. High School, and Holyoke High School, graduating in 1966. He was the goalie on the HHS Soccer team, being selected to the Springfield Republican All Star Soccer Sports team as goalie in his senior year. He then attended Western New England College in Springfield, graduating in 1970. While in college, he worked alongside his Dad at Dreikorn's Bakery in Holyoke.
Rich began his teaching career as a student teacher in Monson High School and never left until his retirement after 43 years! He was doing what he loved: helping to form and expand young minds; opening students' minds to literature, especially Shakespeare (all of his cats had names from literature: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Romeo, Juliet, Ophelia, Othello, and Macbeth), and mentoring new teachers to the high school and, in particular, the English Department. He was that department's chairperson.
Looking at the sympathies that have been pouring in for him one can tell how special he was to so many at the school....."mentor, caring & gentle, favorite teacher, amazing, smart, funny, planting the seeds of love for learning, sweetest and most understanding teacher, wonderful colleague, role model, passion for teaching, inspiring, loved it when he read to us during class because he was so involved with the characters you couldn't help but listen." And on and on... Rich had many yearbooks dedicated to him. He loved the Drama contests that he directed and the teams he coached. He still had contact through facebook with many of his former colleagues and students.
Rich was predeceased by his parents Doris (2015) and Henry (1998) and his beloved youngest sister Karen (1977) whom he has now joined for eternity in heaven. Rich is survived by his wife of 25 years, Regina (Reg, Reggie, Gina); sons Joseph Renaud of Holyoke, Jeffrey Renaud of Palmer and Michael Chesnis and his wife Amy of Fort Myers, Florida; sister Linda and her spouse Kathy Probst of St. Louis, MO; brother Robert and his wife Denise of Westfield; sister Janice and her husband Russell of Holyoke; grandchildren Arthena Ellis Renaud of Palmer, David and Christine Nguyen of Florida, April Starbard of Lady Lake, Florida. His nieces and nephews Karen Fay and her husband Shaun of Holyoke, George Renaud and his wife Melissa and daughter Chloe of West Springfield, Christina Menard and her husband Karl and their sons Colin and Kamrin of Westfield; sister-in law Teresa (Terry) Grant of Worcester; niece Jennifer Castro and her husband Steve and their children Lily and Logan; nephew Jeffrey Grant and his wife Jessica and their children Emily and Jeffrey.
Rich was a single father to his boys from when they were young, basically giving up all of his life for them until they were both grown and then he finally said it was time for him and he met the love of his life, Gina. She brought such joy to him. Travelling over the world, his favorite being England and cross-country, his favorite being California, as well, cruises, his favorite being Alaska.
A graveside service for Rich will be held on Thursday, January 14,2021 at 11:00AM in Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Monson High School, English Department, for an English major scholarship, 55 Margaret Street, Monson MA 01057.