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

UBC soccer star Victory Shumbusho offers one-on-one training for Chilliwack players

The Chilliwack FC grad believes players need more training to reach higher levels of soccer

Wings and Wheels fundraiser ready to roll in Abbotsford this weekend

Unique collection of cars invading Tradex for drive-thru experiences on Saturday and Sunday

FoodMesh taking its emergency food recovery project nationwide

Pilot project in Chilliwack helped show that food surpluses could be diverted to charities in need

Chilliwack-Kent Liberal riding association president resigns

Sandy Mathies resignation follows MLA Laurie Throness LGBTQ controversies

Vedder River gets reprieve from gravel removal this summer

Applications withdrawn by river management committee and process concluded for 2020

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

Fraser Valley Bandits reflect on 2020 turnaround

Abbotsford-based CEBL team goes from worst to almost first at Summer Series

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Most Read