We celebrate the end of Renee Snell’s rich earthly journey with a mixture of sadness and joy. Mum reached the venerable age of 101 with grace and a ‘joie de vivre.’
Born Renee Evans in London, England on June 19, 1918, to James Wagland Evans and Irene Marguerite (Marshall), she is the last survivor of a family of five: Ivy, Jim, Joan (Ford), and Robert. She lived through the Depression, went on youth hostel cycling holidays with groups of friends, ran a Girl Guide Company (they were honour guards at her wedding), was in charge of a library in Coulsdon, and survived the Blitz of London.
With a spirit of adventure, Mum married a Canadian soldier and came to Canada to start a new life with her husband, Lorne. They first farmed in Southern Ontario, then pioneered in two northern mining communities: Elliot Lake and Labrador City. As a librarian (trained in England), she put her qualifications to work in each of these new towns, establishing both community and school libraries. All this while actively contributing to the growth of community.
Mum and Dad retired to a property in Southern Ontario, going back to Dad’s family roots. Retirement is a relative term. She and Dad turned that property into a parkland while building an environmentally friendly house - the second house they had built together. After Dad’s unexpected death, she set off on more adventures, living with each of her daughters in Newfoundland, Barrie and Renfrew. She continued to immerse herself in family and community life wherever she went.
With each move, Mum made new friends while maintaining contact with those she left behind. Those who call her friend number in the hundreds. Mum had endearing qualities that seem to have touched all those she came in contact with. The ripples of her quiet, behind-the-scenes caring reached many, many people. She maintained these friendships through her prolific letter writing. As well, Mum and Dad cultivated and maintained close connections to relatives in England and Canada, emphasizing the importance of family roots.
Mum has passed her adventurous spirit on to the next generations, who travel or live all over the world.
Mum is remembered for her beautiful welcoming smile, and her bone crushing hugs. She was an attentive listener, who was keenly interested in what people had to say. She also had a keen sense of humour and an infectious laugh.
Mum was predeceased by Lorne, her husband of 49 years; her son, Rodney; and her daughter, Jeanne (Rideout). She will be affectionately remembered and her legacy cherished by her daughters, Anne Snell (Healey); Wanda Saunders (Jim); Yvonne Powell; her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, her extended family; and her many friends.
Following Renee's request, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service will be held at Trinity St. Andrews Church, Renfrew on Thursday August 29th at 11:00 am. The family will greet family and friends in the church narthex from 10:00 am until the time of service. Inurnment will take place at a future date. Following the services a reception will be held at Stewart Hall. Donations to Trinity St. Andrew's United Church or Bonnechere Manor would be appreciated.