BAINBRIDGE - Joseph Anton Renton was called home at the age of 99, by his Lord and Maker, on Aug. 16, 2017.
He was born Joseph Anton Pospisil to Bohuslav (Barney) and Anastasia (Kulicova) in "Little Bohemia," NYC, June 13, 1918. His father died of Spanish Flu when Joseph was 6 months old.
Joe was preceded in death also by his mother and his two brothers, Frank and Barney; as well as by his aunt and uncle, Bertha and Harry Renton.
He leaves his wife of 42 years, Barbara Renton; his children, Mark, Debra and James (Michele) Hampton, Dorothy (Richard) Boulton, Catalin (Amanda) Brandas, six grandsons, Sean Walder, Matthew and Charles Boulton, James Varanese, Elijah and Alexander Brandas; niece, Janet (David) Couture; nephew, Joseph (Stephanie) Munson; three grand-nephews, Zachary, Matthew, and Samuel Munson; and two godsons, George James Hill and Joseph Hill. Joe also leaves a large family of relatives in the Czech Republic, each one of which he loved and cherished.
Joseph Renton was a graduate of St. John's University on Long Island, with post-graduate study at NYU Law School. He began service at Bankers Trust Company, rising to the position of treasurer, from which he retired in 1987 after 50 years. Five years of that time was spent in the service of Uncle Sam. He was in the first draft from Long Island in 1941 and served in the United States military as Tech Sergeant in the 102nd Infantry Division (originally the Band, but not during combat). His division fought from Cherbourg, through Holland and Belgium, liberating Paris, and then to the Battle of the Bulge. He recalled meeting the Russian troops and having to hold back at the Elbe River. After five years, he requested discharge in 1945.
Joe always kept his first love, the trumpet. Whether in the military or afterward, he continued to play in many big bands and smaller ensembles, always being in demand. Arriving in the Southern Tier of NY, he devoted himself to teaching trumpet and assisting band directors in local schools, first Bainbridge-Guilford and then Sidney. Local people will remember with fondness the small band ensemble, "Joe and the Fellas" formed with some of the Sidney high school musicians. Joe continued to play with the "Old Time Band" of Bainbridge and "The Fabulous Moonlighters" based in Greene, until recent years.
In the Presbyterian Church, Joe was a member of the Bainbridge church, an ordained elder and a clerk of session. He served the Synod of the Northeast as the president of the board of trustees and contributed his financial services to three separate church camps as well, serving on their boards.
To the end of his life Joe Renton thought about, promoted and supported young people in every way he could. Even in music lessons, he taught the maxim: 'Be Your Own Man/Woman." He also gave sound advice to young people: "Many activities come and go over time, but your knowledge of music is a lifelong gift that will open many doors for you. I assure you, that throughout your life, whether you participate in it as a profession, avocation, or as a hobby, you will meet many fine people and will form some lasting friendships. You will gain much satisfaction and self-esteem in providing joy to others - and to yourselves." Those who remember him will testify that he lived his own advice in a spirit of gentleness, wisdom, patience and an unerring sense of how to enhance and enrich and uplift each person he met - thinking always of others, never-failing to greet each person with a broad smile - even a shout - of welcome.
The family expresses enduring gratitude to Joe's closest friend, Donald Robertson, whose quiet, steady presence and support gave Joe the best years of his life. Immense thanks to all those who visited Joe in his last days, sent cards and telephoned. The services of the staffs of Chenango Memorial Hospital, Chase Memorial Nursing Home and Hospice Care of Chenango County eased his last day, we are grateful.
There will be no calling hour.
Expressions of sympathy and of appreciation for Joe Renton's life may be sent to the Renton home in Bainbridge. A Memorial Celebration will take place at 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 24, at the Bainbridge Presbyterian Church.
If he could speak for himself, Joe would suggest that any memorials to him be devoted to music scholarships for children and youth, to local music programs, and to Hospice Care of Chenango County.
Condolences and memories may be shared online at www.landersfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.
Published on August 18, 2017