Rene Pare Memorial

Rene Norbert Pare', coffee-loving, crossword and jigsaw enthusiast, adoring husband and father, passionate chef, gardener, and beloved Unity minister passed away on August 22nd, 2023 at the age of 93.

With his loving family by his side, singing his favorite songs while holding him closely, he peacefully transitioned to a higher plane. Rene will be remembered for his relatable sermons and gentle guidance sessions. He was empathetic and considerate to all he met. A man who chose words carefully, except when he hit an errant golf shot. He loved his family and considered his congregation an extension of that. His kitchen skills and love of all things food made regular appearances in his writings and Sunday messages. Writing 'Spiritual Food' newsletters, (often using the Sunday comics for inspiration) made his messages come to life for many people.

His wife of 70 years, Marie Pare’, mourns his passing while reminiscing about the two of them dancing to Blue Moon. The couple courted and exchanged mushy letters while Rene was serving in the Navy. Marie’s favorite was the letter that included his proposal to her. Married on October 30th, 1952, the couple had their first of nine children in February of 1954.

Camping trips and boating adventures filled their early family time while living in SE Michigan. In 1974, the family moved to Wilmington, NC, and took on the task of starting a Unity prayer group as Rene and Marie’s enthusiasm for the movement grew stronger. His entry into the ministry in Lees Summit, MO began a series of moves around the country before they were led to return to Wilmington to continue growing the church they had so lovingly started.

Since retiring, his green thumb took on epic proportions as gardening became a science and passion in his life. Striving to create a perfect tomato or a lively wildflower meadow kept him interested in playing in the dirt.

A long-suffering Detroit Lions fan, he lived through the 40-year Stanley Cup drought for his beloved Detroit Red Wings, a torture he endured until the Wings broke through in 1997 and enjoyed a string of four cups in 10 years. We will find a way to celebrate with him when the Lions win the Lombardi Trophy. (Just kidding, none of us will live that long.) His greatest sports accomplishment was as the champion of the Signs of Autumn Football Fantasy League in its final year. A feat he treasured beyond words.

Always a teacher at heart, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge of his family's ancestry and made sure everyone knew how to properly build a campfire. Family reunions will never be the same as his nine children, sixteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren (with one on the way) will miss his laughter and stories.

The family is asking for condolences and donations in lieu of flowers. The funds will be used to erect a permanent memorial on the grounds of the Lower Cape Fear Life Center Heritage Garden. Additional funds will be distributed in memoriam, by Marie Pare’. 

A service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, September 30 at 11:00AM at Unity of Wilmington, 717 Orchard Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405.

We are blessed to have been with him for 93 years while he fed us, inspired us, educated us, and absolutely gave us all he had. Now it’s time for him to enjoy dessert…. or maybe, he’s creating something soulfully satisfying for everyone else.