"Fearless" Phil Renner, as we all knew him by, was laid to rest today with military honors, being a wounded WW2 Army Air Corp veteran. Before the trip to the cemetery, there was a beautiful service with his wife Geraldine, daughter Jacqueline, son David and grand kids reminiscing about his wonderful and full life. At the end of the service his grandson John-Paul played 'Home, Home On the Range' on his guitar - a song befitting Phil.
Many of you longtime members may recall that Phil always gave this Indian War Whoop whenever he passed under a bridge in his canoe, so it was befitting that we all gave Phil a final and mighty.... Woo-Wooo-Wooo!
Phil would always paint a black dot on all his paddling and camping equipment so as to "know it's mine". Phil was buried with an ash beavertail canoe paddle with his trademark black dot painted on it. We believe he would have liked that.
As the friends and relatives of Phil stood in front of the casket at the cemetery, it was as if the Great Spirit welcomed Phil to the other side.... when from the surrounding foliage in the wooded cemetery came three deer slowly running past the grave about 100 feet away. We all stood there watching in awe and amazement. A perfect sendoff for Phil.
Alas, least we know Phil has his canoe paddle and a few deer to guide him to the "Eternal river to the stars"...
Paddle on, my ol' pal... Paddle on! I will miss you!
February 19, 2010
PS: Read Phil's trip report - 1993: Canoeing the Murderkill River