(again from Debrah, René's neighbor)
A Memorial and Celebration of Rene's life will be held on Sunday, May 22nd, at the Miller Community Center. I'm not sure of the time yet. Frank Chaffee has offered to coordinate that event and if you want to help, Andrew can forward E-mails to him (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rene's obituary will be in the paper this Sunday and there is talk that a blog site may go up so people can better exchange their thoughts about Rene and maybe post some favorite photo's.
Several of you have asked for further details about Rene's passing and I just wrote to Pascal and Marie in France about that so I'll copy that note here.
As almost everyone has said Rene's passing is pretty unbeliveable because in most ways Rene was so strong and healthy. Never the less he had high blood pressure and things had been pretty tough for him for a while. On Thursday night a friend spoke with him on the phone and his speech was slurred. Some time that night he had a massive stroke followed by a series of small ones. In the MRI there was a hemorrhage in his brain and blood work showed he had had a minor heart attack (probably caused from the strokes). When he collapsed he hit his head pretty hard as well.
The neighbor who found him on Friday called emp's and he was helicoptered off Orcas Island to a Bellingham hospital. Larry arrived to the hospital on Saturday and although Rene was not able to open his eye's or speak he was responsive to Larry and motioned with his right hand. He knew that Larry, and later Gary was there, and responded when he was told that others were on their way. The doctors told them that recovery would be long and hard if at all. We all believe that Rene would not have wanted to survive all that.
Each day is a little easier. Yesterday they were able to find his will and instructions for a "celebration of his life". Rene wants his friends to come together for a good time and that just might be the best way to honor his life and memory. There is something very positive about these instructions. I hope you can be there.