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Obituary for Dr. Robert Paul "Bob" Rennie

Dr. Robert Paul "Bob"  Rennie
Dr. Robert P. Rennie of Pittsfield passed away at home on Sunday, May 21 surrounded by his family. Bob was born at St. Luke’s hospital in Pittsfield on March 3, 1947. He was the son of the late William Simpson Rennie and Catherine Collins Rennie. He was brought home to Thomas Island on Lake Onota and thus began a lifelong love of beautiful Onota Lake. No matter where he traveled, when he returned home, he always felt the Berkshires and his home on the lake to be the most beautiful place in the world. He and his wife, Marianne, felt truly blessed to be able to bring up their family amidst the great beauty and serenity of it all. It has been said that “A happy family is but an earlier Heaven”. Creating a happy family life for his wife and children was so very important to Bob and he certainly achieved that.
Bob graduated from the drafting program at Pittsfield High School in 1966. He then worked for General Electric as a draftsman for several years before enrolling at Berkshire Community College. Bob and his high school sweetheart, Marianne Corl, were married at St. Mark’s church in 1969. He graduated from BCC in 1972 and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1974 and a Doctor of Optometry in 1976 from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee.
As a young Optometrist, Bob worked for Sterling Optical in Glens Falls, NY and Northland Optical in Plattsburg, NY before opening his own practice in Johnstown, NY in 1979, naming it Williamson Optical, after his father. He also established a satellite practice in Rotterdam, NY where he practiced part time for several years.
Bob and Marianne lived in Johnstown for 5 years, during which time they were blessed with 2 sons, Jason Robert and Michael Paul. They were the light of Bob’s life. In 1981 Bob sold Williamson Optical and the family moved to Pittsfield to build their home on the shores of Bob’s beloved Onota Lake and to be closer to their families. They have lived in their home for 32 years. Whether cruising its shining waters by boat, going fishing as a young boy and teenager or just sitting and gazing at its constantly changing panorama, the lake was a great source of peace, solace, and inspiration for Bob. Bob was also a talented carpenter and enjoyed planning and building many projects throughout his life. He was the ultimate handyman.
Bob owned the Pearl Vision Center in Pittsfield for several years and then in 1986 he opened the Eye Care Center at 457 Dalton Avenue. Bob thoroughly enjoyed providing his patients with eye care for 35 years. He retired from practice in 2011. Bob was a member of the American Optometric Association and a Director of Lake Onota Preservation Association (LOPA).
Besides his wife of 48 years, Bob leaves two sons, Michael Paul Rennie of Brookline, MA and Jason Robert Rennie of Leverett, MA, daughter in law, Jessica Rocheleau, 2 grandchildren, Lyla May and Owen Paul Rennie, a sister, Marilyn Kunes(Ken), a brother William(Nancy), nieces Heather Kunes, Cathy and Laura Rennie, Kelly Harper, and Emily Corl and nephews Steven Mach, Matthew Harper, Ryan Corl, Kenneth Kunes and Kevin and William Rennie. He also leaves his sweet dog Lexi, who will miss rides in the car that ended with a dog biscuit. He will be so sadly missed.
Funeral Notice: Funeral services for Dr. Robert P. Rennie, who died May 21, 2017 will be held Friday May 26, 2017 at 1 p.m. at DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 BRADFORD ST., PITTSFIELD. Calling hours will be held prior to the service from 11 a.m. to 1 pm. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to HospiceCare in the Berkshires in care of the funeral home. To share a memory or condolence with Bob’s family please visit

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