Robert “R.H.” Reny, 83, passed away on the afternoon of July 24, 2009, surrounded by his loving family at his home. Born March 23, 1926, in Biddeford, he was the son of Edward and Grace (Reilly) Reny.
R.H. grew up Biddeford, attending local schools and graduating from Biddeford High School. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. They immediately sent him to Dartmouth College, where he completed a four-year program in just two years. Upon graduating from Dartmouth, he shipped out with the Navy, making it as far as Greenland before the war came to an end. Upon returning to the States, he went to work for RH Whites, a department store in Boston. He later moved to Damariscotta, where he worked for Senter’s Department Store, before opening his own shop across the street, the flagship of what is now 14 stores statewide. This year, Renys Department Stores celebrate their 60th anniversary. A celebration that is extra special, as it is one of the longest surviving family-owned businesses in the state. R.H. was an icon throughout the state, receiving numerous awards and countless recognitions. Some of his many accomplishments include being a member and president of the Maine Merchants Association, as well as a Maine Merchants Association Retailer of the Year in 1981. He was on the board of directors, and one-time chairman of the Maine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as being a member of the Small Business Administration National Advisor Council. He was also on the board of directors for Central Maine Power Co., and was a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. In his “spare time,” he enjoyed growing corn and selling lobsters in Round Pond. But more than anything, he loved telling stories. Please take a moment to share a special story with the family by visiting www.StrongHancock.com or by sending it directly to them at P.O. Box 33, Damariscotta, ME 04543.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, John F. Reny and Paul E. Reny. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carolyn Denny Reny of Damariscotta; his three sons and daughters-in-law, John and Kathleen Reny of Round Pond, Bob and Mary Kate Reny of Bremen, and Mike Reny of Round Pond; seven grandchilden, Daniel and wife, Andrea, Christopher, Adam, Faustine, Collette, Marlie and Tyler Reny; his sister, Anne Smith of Buxton; and his brother Richard, and his wife, Rachel, of Biddeford.
A funeral Mass to celebrate the life of R.H. Reny will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, July 30, 2009, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Newcastle. He will be laid to rest in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Patrick’s Permanent Lay Trust, P.O. Box 33, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences or stories, for the family may be expressed at www.StrongHancock.com.