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Renee was born November 21, 1932 in Rochester to Annette and Sheldon Harris. Her full birth name was Maureen Goldie Harris, but she went by Renee (from the “reen” in Maureen). She had an older brother Richard, that she adored and always looked up to growing up.
Renee was a gifted student, who skipped one grade in elementary school (5th grade). She was in French Honor Society and graduated from Marshall High School in 1949. Renee graduated from Rochester General Hospital Nursing School. She was a nurse and worked in Syracuse as one of the very first nurses with Visiting Nurse Service. She had many friends that she gained thru her nursing career. She met Cal (Calvin) on a blind double date with her high school friend Ruth, who was dating Cal’s old high school classmate, Chuck Harris. Renee and Cal were engaged just 2 months later and got married in September 1, 1963. With Cal, she raised 2 boys, Steven and Stuart.
Renee was very active at Temple Beth David, where she participated in Sisterhood and helped support Cal in his duties on Temple Beth David’s various committees. Renee loved watching her sons play baseball, rarely missed a game, and was never afraid to let the umpires know how poorly they were performing their duties or how they were past due for eye exams. Her sons eventually forgave her.
She loved her family and always bragged about them to anyone who would listen. Renee was also very close with her daughter-in-law Michele, whom she always considered her the daughter she never had. Renee absolutely loved becoming a grandmother to Rachel who was born 2 months before Cal passed away. She was thrilled when her second granddaughter Lindsey was born just 26 months after Rachel. She appreciated knitting sweaters that were enjoyed by her granddaughters. Renee thought it was so special that her only grandson Calvin was given the namesake of her beloved husband Cal. Recently you would find Renee proudly announcing to everyone that she officially gained the title of great grandmother to Rayana.
She leaves many nieces and nephews, along with great-nieces and nephews. She especially enjoyed breaking the fast for Yom Kippur at Margie’s house. She always inquired about all of her nieces and nephews and found it interesting to hear what they were up to.
Renee loved travel and took many trips, to many destinations across the United States, as well as some trips to Israel, Mexico, and cruises in her later years. Cal had never seen the Grand Canyon, which was his on his bucket list for his last trip. Renee and Cal were fortunate to make that Grand Canyon trip together with Stuart, just a month before his passing.
Cal passed in 1995, and several years later, she met Marvin. It wasn’t very long before they were spending nearly all of their time together. They both eventually moved into the Meadows at St. John’s, where they were inseparable. Renee and Marvin took many trips together, often visiting Marvin’s daughters and their families, in other parts of the country. Marvin passed in 2011 and Renee was devastated.
Renee was very involved in many activities that were available at the community at St. John’s. She loved meeting new people there and coming from her nursing background, especially loved all of the staff at St. John’s.
She spent her last years becoming more connected with God, and having a very open mind to other’s beliefs and their religious teachings. She was very close with J.D., her pastor, and was so sad to hear very recently, that he was moving on from St. John’s. She said often that she will be watching at her service, so she is getting to see J.D. this one last time.
Service will take place Wednesday, January 11th at 11:00 at Brighton Memorial Chapel, Inc. located at 3325 S. Winton Rd. Rochester, NY 14623.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Johns Nursing Home Foundation 150 Highland Ave. Rochester, NY 14620.