Renee (Browning) (Hartzog) Smith, beloved wife of Richard Smith, courageously defeated ALS and returned to The Force on July 16, 2022. She transitioned peacefully, with loved ones by her side, and has already sent several signs to let all know that her spirit is safe and sound.
Born on May 15, 1949, Renee was raised in Vernon by her parents Ernestine “Aggie” and John Browning, whom she joins in spirit along with her sister, Robin Lyn Browning. After graduating from Rockville High School and the University of Connecticut, Renee began her teaching career in 1971 at Vernon Elementary School prior to finding her new home at Bolton Center School, where she taught 2nd and 5th- 7th grade for the next 21 years. In her work, she touched the lives of many people with her humor, compassion, and love of reading. After retiring in 2004, Renee and Richard lived briefly in Willington before moving to Manchester and spending their winters in the Florida Keys. In her retirement, Renee enjoyed traveling with friends & family, walking in nature with her dogs (Sydney & Buddy), cooking with her granddaughter, and rooting for the UConn women’s basketball team. Her spirit now rests on the bluffs of Block Island, a place she considered sacred since childhood.
Renee’s legacy is carried forward by her son, Matthew Hartzog and his wife Renee (Butler) Hartzog; her stepson Jason Smith; her stepson Shane Smith and his husband William Murray; her sister Karen and her husband Bob Weber; her brother Stephen and his wife Joanne Browning; her brother Gene and his wife Ginny Browning; many loving nieces and nephews, and her granddaughter, Allison Hartzog, who will always be her pride and joy.
Renee and her family would like to extend their eternal love and gratitude to the amazing staff at the Mansfield Center for Nursing and Rehab, who selflessly cared for Renee and brought so much joy to the last few months of her life.
A celebration of Renee’s life will be held at Georgina’s Restaurant in Bolton on Saturday, July 30th, from noon until 3:30pm. This will be an informal open house event. All who knew Renee are welcome to come and celebrate the impact she had on us all.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made online to the Renee Hartzog Smith Memorial Scholarship at BoltonScholarshipFund.org. Checks may be mailed, payable to the Bolton Scholarship Fund, 72 Brandy St, Bolton, CT 06043. Please reference Renee Hartzog Smith in the memo field.