A former Halifax couple, who died three weeks apart, will be buried together on July 8 at a cemetery near their home in Sussex Corner, New Brunswick.
Paul Christopher Renner, 75, a native of Halifax and son of the late George Lyall and Florence (Jubien) Renner died on Feb. 14, 2017, at the Saint John Regional Hospital, NB, his son and daughter by his side as he passed away peacefully.
At the time his wife, Serena Frances (Hanley) Renner, was in the Sussex Health Centre where she died just three weeks later, on March 10. Also at her side were her two children and loving family as she quietly slipped away. The couple had been married 46 years.
Paul was born in Halifax, July 16, 1941, and grew up playing tennis, football and sailing on the Northwest Arm. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1960, qualified as a submariner with the UK Royal Navy, returned to Canada and completed 28 years of service as a marine electrician. He had the distinction of serving on all three of the Navy’s O-boat submarines.
Serena was born in Sussex, NB, July 6, 1940, to the late Thomas Frederick Hanley and Frances (Whalen-Branscombe) Hanley, the seventh child in a family of 10. She played basketball, badminton, excelled at speed skating and shone on the dance floor. Serena graduated from Mount Carmel Academy in Saint John in 1958 and began a career in secretarial and office administration.
Life eventually took Serena to Halifax where she met Paul. At ages 29 and 30 they knew they’d found their soulmates and in a few short months were married in July 1970. Serena went to work for the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party, where she quickly rose to the position of provincial secretary and later became executive assistant to former NS party leader and federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough.
In 1984, Serena and Paul built their dream home near family in Sussex Corner. Two years later Paul retired from the Navy. Before long he was back in the workforce and got as close to the Navy as he could, working on the Canadian Patrol Frigate program in Saint John, NB. With the end of that project he retired again. Serena, still not done with politics, was elected to her local village council for a time and remained a committed NDPer and a politically junky to the end.
Paul and Serena, devoted always to family, are sadly missed by their son Nathan and his wife Helen Langley of Bedford, daughter Michelle of Dartmouth, Paul’s sister Sandra Durham, Prospect, and sister-in-law Margo Renner, Digby, Serena’s brothers, Murray (June) Branscombe, Belleville, ON., Thomas (Carol Ann) Hanley, New Maryland, NB, Patrick Hanley, wife Moira Lawler, Auckland, New Zealand, sister, Glenna Hanley, Fredericton, NB, special brother-in-law and hunting buddy Warren Mason, Newtown, NB, cherished nieces and nephews, and many friends. And they are very much missed by their faithful dog Maggie.
Paul was predeceased by his parents and brother David. Serena was predeceased by her parents and brothers, Michael Ward and Gilbert Branscombe, sisters Edna Miklos, Doris Branscombe and Marita Mason.
Funeral Masses for Paul and Serena were held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Sussex, on Feb. 18 and Mar. 13, respectively. At both funerals and receptions, many family members and friends shared condolences and wonderful memories.
Family and close friends are invited to attend an interment at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Newtown, NB, on Sat. July 8 at 11am, followed by a celebration of Paul and Serena at the family home in Sussex Corner. Arrangements have been entrusted to Wallace Funeral Home, Sussex, NB. www.wallacefuneralhome.com.