Kev Renaghan


Cullum No. 24078-1962 | July 30, 1978 | Died in Hingham, MA

Interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY

This is not an obituary. This is a testimonial to life and love—for ‘love is as strong as death.”

Kevin Renaghan was born on 26 November 1940 in Somerville, Massachusetts, to Leo and Dorothy (Hughes) Renaghan. He was the second oldest of a family of seven children. The family moved to Hingham, Massachusetts, when Kevin was in seventh grade. In 1958 Kevin left for West Point after graduating from Hingham High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. After a competitive evaluation, Kevin was chosen to be Senator John F. Kennedy’s appointee to the Academy. The challenge of these years was important to someone with the kind of adventurous spirit and determination Kevin possessed. The ties of friendship formed at the Academy would be very important to Kevin throughout his life.

My first meeting with Kevin was an almost disastrous blind date during Christmas leave of his 2d class year. The following years were filled with so many happy times, much letter writing and frequent phone calls. We were married 19 July 1964.

In January 1965 Kevin left from San Francisco to begin his tour in Vietnam. He was awarded two Bronze Stars (one for valor), the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and two awards from the South Vietnamese government. The next tour of duty for us was Fort Benning, Georgia, where Kevin was an instructor at the Infantry School. It was there we welcomed our daughter, Paige Elisabeth, into our world in 1967, Life became even more interesting. Paige seemed to have the same love for adventure as her father! She was Kevin’s pride and joy. Kevin resigned from the Army with the rank of captain after the tour at Fort Benning.

The year 1968 found us in Troy, New York, where Kevin earned a graduate degree in Business Management from Rensselaer. We returned to Boston, where Kevin accepted positions in Marketing with International Business Machines (IBM), and then with Corporation S, a subsidiary of Recognition Equipment of Dallas. He became president of Corporation S in 1972.

During these years life for the Renaghans was very good. Kevin was planning to form his own business; we traveled as much as possible, and happily found our special place in Vermont. Running was Kevin’s hobby. He eventually ran the Boston Marathon in 1973 and 1975, finishing in under three hours in 1975.

In April of 1976, Kevin entered Massachusetts General Hospital for neurosurgery. A brain tumor was discovered and treated with radiation. Never once did Kevin bow to despair or self pity. He started the first of three businesses just a couple of days after surgery. About ten days before his death, I asked Kevin why he never complained. He replied, “That’s not the way to be successful.” The significance of those few words will always remain with me.

Kevin completed his life on earth 30 July 1978, and is buried at West Point. The memory of this man who was honorable, generous and caring, will live in the hearts of family and friends. Kevin was a “person who made a difference” in the lives he touched. And so, now it is time to persevere and do our best, as Kevin would have demanded. He showed us the way. We will do this so that, hopefully, when we meet again we will receive Kevin’s ultimate praise—”‘You were a good soldier.’’

The words of Robert Frost reflect truly the deepest sentiments of all who loved Kevin;

Nature’s first green is gold.

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

—Kevin’s wife, Janice

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