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

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has received a grant for the completion of housing reports for Electoral Areas B, D, and F. (Gerry Leibel photo)
Grant allows Columbia Shuswap Regional District to finish housing reports

Study toidentify issues such as affordability and accessibility specific to Areas B, D and F

The Riverside Forest Walk walk begins at the BC Interior Forestry Museum on Highway 23. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke trail network to expand with the help of CBT funding

Four Revelstoke projects received a total of almost $80,000

Illuminate Spirit Revelstoke Society said Revelstoke’s dark downtown core is unwelcoming. Lighting would make it more inviting and a point of interest. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
New community group hopes to ‘light up’ Revelstoke

Illuminate Spirit Revelstoke Society aims to purchase decorative lights for the downtown core

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Photo courtesy RCMP
Salmon Arm RCMP officers seized a handgun and a quantity of cocaine during a search of a vehicle on Thursday, Feb. 11. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP seize handgun, cocaine in vehicle search

Two Surrey residents released from custody, investigation continues

Lumby’s WTF What the Fry was broken into Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, and the till was stolen around 9:30 a.m. (Facebook)
Cash box stolen from Lumby poutinerie

WTF broken into in broad daylight seven weeks after grand opening

KISU swim club member Justin Fotherby is one of six swimmers from across Canada to be recognized for the 2020-2021 Victor Davis Award. (Submitted photo)
Penticton swimmer wins major awards, closing in on Olympic dream

Justin Fotherby, a KISU club member, has just won the prestigious Victor Davis Award

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Oliver Fire Department. (Submitted photo)
Burn pile fire spreads to nearby garage in Oliver

The fire could be seen from Highway 97 and was called in at 3:45 a.m.

Most Read