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Rena, 94, went home peacefully to be with our Lord Friday, March 1, 2013 at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, FL. Born February 5, 1919 in Agawam, MA. After graduating high school, Rena attended the Springfield Academy of Beauty Culture and later attended the American Hair Design institute in NY.
Rena met her husband Lee, while vacationing in Bermuda. They married in 1953 and started military life (a dream come true). Rena loved traveling and entertaining. Her favorite assignment was the Philippines. Lee was on a MAG assignment (Military Advisory Group). Rena entertained Secretary of Defense Jesus Vargas (wife) and Generals. She was called Pearl Mesta of Quezon City.
Their son John, was born on December 7, 1958 at Clark A.F.B. After Lee retired (27 years) they settled in Titusville. Rena was interested in food and entertaining. She attended Johnson Whales Culinary Institute in Rhode Island, studying with renowned chefs. Rena taught Gourmet Cooking (Adult Education) at B.C.C. for 10 years. She owned and operated a very successful catering business, "Rena's Chateau Gourmet". Most of her business was in Central and South Brevard; debutante and holiday party's, coffee, luncheons, doctors openings of new offices, and political functions. When Bill Nelson was campaigning for State Representative, Rena entertained him in her home and later did other parties for him.
She worked a party for Jimmy Carter when he was campaigning for President at Atty Broomes home in Titusville. She also worked parties for Rep. Bud Gardner. Rena was also active in her community; she was a active member of North Brevard Garden Club and a member of Homemakers. She was very active in her church, St. Teresa Catholic Church.
Rene is survived by her loving husband, Lee; devoted son, John William; grandson, her pride and joy, JT; many caring and loving nieces and nephews; two special nephews, Peter Rowchi of MA, and Andrew Albright of Southern Pines, NC; countless friends, and a special family, the Gourmettes; former students from her teaching at B.C.C, which met once a month preparing gourmet food.
Visitation will be at St. Teresa Catholic Church Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, and mass to follow at 11:00 am. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery at later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Teresa Catholic School or
Arrangements entrusted to Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, 4001 South Hopkins Avenue, Titusville, Florida, (321) 264-6131.
Please share memories and sign her guestbook at ww.afcfcare.com.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Mar. 10, 2013