A collage of memories, posted to Facebook by the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department.

A collage of memories, posted to Facebook by the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department.

First responder and tow truck celebrity remembered in Princeton

Phil Renaud was a highway rescue volunteer, volunteer firefighter, and Highway Thru Hell personality

Phil Renaud went to the hall, one last time.

And there were hundreds of people waiting to embrace him.

A celebration of life for Renaud – volunteer, popular businessman and television personality – was held at the Princeton Volunteer Fire Hall Monday.

He arrived, as seemed appropriate, on the back of his tow truck.

Renaud’s ashes were carried into the fire hall by his son Chris, surrounded by an honour guard of Agassiz firefighters and followed by his family.

RCMP in Red Serge, representatives from several area fire departments, colleagues from Princeton Highway Rescue, Legion members, local dignitaries and a crowd of friends attended.

The street was closed to allow for parking more than a dozen trucks and rescue vehicles.

Renaud’s turn out gear – he was both a Princeton firefighter and a member of the highway rescue squad – was arranged solemnly at the front of the room.

Poppies were distributed and a white cross was placed near photos of Renaud.

According to Legion Chaplin Sandra Lawlor, that funereal honour is reserved for veterans and first responders.

“He was one of the most genuine and loving people,” said Lawlor. “Whenever a call went out for help he would be the first person there. He also gave the best hugs.”

Renaud died November 6, following a short illness, according to his brother Paul.

“Ask him to do anything and he would do it,” he said. “He would do anything for anybody and if there was ever a crisis he would be there.”

Renaud spent a lifetime responding to people in need.

“When he was a teenager even, he was on the rescue squad,” said Paul.

Born in Smith Falls Ontario, Renaud held a series of positions in the towing industry, before making regular appearances on the television program Highway Through Hell.

He began managing Mario’s Towing in Princeton about five years ago when he also joined the local volunteer squads.

Chris, who is an Agassiz firefighter and a B.C. paramedic, said his father help to form his own path in life.

“Definitely, just growing up watching him helping people.”

When asked to describe what Renaud loved most in life Chris was quick to respond.

“Family. And he loved being outside camping, and he would hate to admit it but he loved to travel.”

After a pause, Chris added: ‘Oh yes he loved trucks, and towing.”

Renaud is also survived by his wife Brenda and seven siblings, as well as a granddaughter.

Following the service at the hall, Renaud’s ashes were conveyed by his fellow first responders to a Princeton fire truck and driven through town, one last time.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed the exposure at Central Programs and Services on Jan. 25

Protesting farmers and their families gather around a bonfire to mark the harvest festival, which is called Lohri, on a blocked highway in protest against new farm laws on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Changes in India’s farm laws could potentially open up one of the world’s most populous markets and are being closely watched by Canada’s agricultural and economic sectors, say experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Altaf Qadri
UBCO students asking for support in raising funds for Indian farmers

UBCO’s Bhangra Club and Punjabi Student Association are raising funds for Khalsa Aid

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People in Kelowna’s City Park on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Downtown Kelowna’s City Park scheduled for facelift

Designs for the future of City Park unveiled; construction to begin fall 2021

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

Salmon Arm RCMP search a property in the 700 block of Grandview Bench Road in March 2019, assisting Edmonton police with an investigation that led to the arrest of a Salmon Arm man man who was charged in relation to an Edmonton bank robbery and a related explosions. (File photo)
Salmon Arm man accused in Edmonton bank explosions in court for weapon offences

Local provincial court appearances for charges including possessing weapon for dangerous purpose

Salmon Arm’s Halle Krawczyk gives a thumbs up following surgery on Jan. 22 in Pittsburgh, her second of three battling an extremely rare form of cancer that formed tumours on her two upper vertebrae and the clivus behind the nose. (Contributed)
‘Absolutely perfect:’ Salmon Arm girl’s surgeries for rare cancer exceed expectations

Halle Krawczyk doing well, mom credits hundreds of people praying for making the difference

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
‘I have my self-esteem back’: Vernon senior awarded hearing aids

Free testing leads to life-changing improvement for local lady

Most Read