Renina “Rene” Cinque died peacefully at age 98 in her home in Southern California on Monday evening, October 5, 2020, following a long illness, which Rene handled valiantly. This tribute celebrates Rene’s life and her ongoing light in our lives.
Rene was of Italian-American descent and grew up on the East coast in a large, protective family. She witnessed many changes as she was growing up, such as the increasing use of automobiles and telephones. Rene ventured out as a young woman by moving to Washington, D.C., to work for the US War Department during World War II. Rene would return north after spending several years in Washington, D.C.; she then met her future husband, Mark (police officer, deceased), with whom she would build a loving marriage of 53 years. Their marriage produced four children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren--so far! Rene delighted in taking her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to libraries, concerts, plays, and museums to see everything from dinosaur bones to great works of art. Thanks to Rene, a generation of cousins grew up learning how to play chess. Rene was a proponent of college for her own children and for many others in the family. She was the family organizer and a trailblazer among her generation in learning to use a computer and in teaching her siblings, two of whom have survived Rene, how to use it, as well.
From Rene’s earliest days in school, she loved her English classes and would later distinguish herself in writing, as family historian and editor. Although Rene had gone to work right after high school, she later earned her Associate’s Degree in English, i.e., after she and her family had moved to California. Rene was fascinated by the law; she became a legal secretary and then a paralegal, working in the field of labor law. She loved classical music and provided piano lessons for her children. Rene enjoyed reading and container-gardening; she savored the opportunity to travel with her late husband, including trips to Greece, Italy, Alaska, and other places. Rene’s travelogues continue to bring the images of those trips to life. Among Rene’s favorite foods were nectarines and green salad with avocado. Rene will be dearly missed by her family, friends, caregivers, and by everyone who ever knew her. She lived her life with great love, integrity, generosity, and commitment to excellence and to lifelong learning. Thank you, dear Rene; we will miss you and your sweet, unforgettable smile! Your spirit continues to bless us.
Due to the pandemic, funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations to honor Rene’s memory be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation, either at their website, https://www.parkinson.org/, or by mail: 200 SE 1st Street, Ste. 800; Miami, FL 33131.
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