Southborough – Paul Douglas Renfrew, 79, of Southborough, died Sunday, December 17, 2023, at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.
He was the son of the late Robert and Christina (Sherman) Renfrew and the husband of Sue Ellen (Bundens) Renfrew, to whom he was married for 53 years. He was predeceased by his sister Beverly Nowicki.
Paul was a loving son, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather, and friend, and will be sorely missed by those lives he brightened along the way.
Besides his wife, Paul is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Birkemose and her husband Patrick of Norton, MA, his son, P. Douglas Renfrew and his wife Jennifer Cable of New York City, NY and his grandchildren, Tyler, Andrew and James Birkemose and Adelaide and Evelyn Renfrew who knew him as “Papa.”
Paul was a graduate of Chelsea High School and Springfield College. He started his career teaching at George School in Pennsylvania, where he met Sue Ellen. After getting married in 1970 and moving back to Massachusetts, Paul taught at St. Marks in Southborough and St. Sebastian’s in Needham. He had great stories from taking his students on marine biology field trips to places like Belize and St. John’s. He spent summers working as a lifeguard and camp counselor. He transitioned into the then-emerging field of computers in the 80s, working in the education division at Apollo Computer, Hewlett-Packard, and eventually Agilent Technologies. Paul ended his career where he started though, working with kids. He worked as an instructional aide at Trottier Middle School with Sue Ellen, forming years-long bonds with some of his students.
Paul was a devoted parent and grandparent, teaching his kids to ride bikes and drive cars and his grandkids to drive a tractor. He had magical skills like parallel parking in impossibly small places and fashioning a diaper out of duct tape. He loved hosting his friends at their annual trip with Habitat for Humanity and talking with friends at the Dull Men’s Club.
He loved the Pilgrim Church community, attending services with his family, running the children’s Christmas pageant with Sue Ellen for many years, and eventually walking his daughter down the aisle there. He loved singing in the choir on Sunday mornings and in the annual Messiah performance. He was a deacon, member of the music committee and men’s club, and even had his acting debut in the back of the sanctuary in the movie Grown Ups.
Paul’s home away from home was Peaks Island, Maine; a special place that his children and grandchildren adore as well. There he was able to relax and enjoy his hobbies of kayaking and biking. He loved having coffee on the dock while watching the boats and ice cream or a frappe while watching the sunset, surrounded by his family.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the Morris-Johnston Funeral Home, 40 Main Street, Southborough, MA 01772. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, December 21, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 15 Common Street, Southborough, MA.
Paul’s family requests for donations in lieu of flowers to causes Paul felt deeply about: Habitat for Humanity (https://www.habitat.org/), Peaks Island Land Preservation (https://www.peaksislandlandpreserve.org/), and Pilgrim Church Outreach (https://pilgrimchurch.us/).