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Obituary of Rene W. Langlois
Rene William Langlois Jr. passed away peacefully in his Chicopee home on October 26, 2022. His daughter, several of his siblings, and a crew of compassionate hospice nurses cared for him at home in the weeks leading to his death at age 74. Rene (pronounced “Rainy”) was born on February 25, 1948, to a large French-Canadian family in Holyoke. His great-grandmother, Mary Jubinville, was one of the first French settlers in the city, and came from Quebec in a covered wagon in the mid-19th century. As a child, Rene moved from Holyoke to South Hadley, where he enjoyed a bucolic boyhood fishing, ice skating, catching turtles and frogs, and playing in woods and creeks with his siblings. It was there that he developed a lifelong love for the natural world, which brought him joy no matter where he found himself: swimming behind a waterfall in the Philippines while serving in the Navy, fishing in the rainforest of Puget Sound, on one of many camping trips in New England, or even relaxing in his easy chair watching wildlife documentaries. Rene was happiest sitting by a river with a fishing pole in one hand and a beer in the other, and he imparted his love for water and the outdoors to his daughter, Krista Langlois, and granddaughter, Josephine Langlois-Mogler. In addition to his appreciation for nature and wildlife, Rene adored being a father and grandfather, or PaiPai. He was generous, kind-hearted, easy-going, and never shy about expressing his love. Although he suffered from chronic pain and debilitating neuropathy that left him largely homebound in his final years, he managed against all odds to travel to Colorado and cast a few lures into high-mountain lakes with his granddaughter. He was also an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan, and he loved the big-band music and culture of the 1940s. He graduated from South Hadley High School in 1966 and served on the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. Rene was preceded in death by his parents, Doris (Jubinville) Langlois and Rene Langlois Sr., as well as his grandparents, including his beloved grandmother Minnie McDowell. He is survived by his siblings Audrey Taylor of Somers, Connecticut; Faye Rivest of Holyoke; Bill Langlois of Florida; Debbie Rainaud of South Hadley; and Kenny Langlois of Chicopee, who selflessly cared for his brother as Rene’s health declined, visiting him daily and making sure he had all his favorite foods to eat. Rene is also survived by his ex-wife of 25 years, Donna Bitzer of Southampton, and by many nieces and nephews. And, of course, by his daughter Krista Langlois, her husband Jesse Mogler, and their daughter Josephine Langlois-Mogler, all of Durango, Colorado. When Rene’s daughter Krista got married at the bottom of the Grand Canyon while on a three-week rafting trip, he wrote her these words: “Krista, I wish I were an eagle so I could swoop down from above the Grand Canyon to watch you and Jesse exchange vows. Or maybe a trout, I could jump out of the water and watch the same thing. But I am neither, so I must be content with writing this note to you.” If there is any solace in the loss of such a kind and wonderful person, it is this: he can be a trout now, or an eagle. He can swim and fly again. He is free. In lieu of flowers, Rene requested that donations be made in his honor to The Jimmy Fund.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Rene
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Beers & Story Funeral Homes - South Hadley