Happy 80th birthday, Ren!

As our dear resident Warren “Ren” Haddon turns 80 today, he takes a few minutes to look back at a very full life. Born on Sept. 19, 1937 in Morristown, NJ, Ren spent most of his youth in various towns in New Jersey, other than a year the family spent living in Detroit where the family relocated briefly for his father’s career. Ren said he recalls his formative years living in Morris County as good ones, his brief stint living on the west side of Detroit as the year he “grew up.” It was 1949 and the automobile industry and post World War II had taken Detroit by storm. His seventh grade year was spent learning how to take three different city buses from the west side of the city to the east side, amid racial and ethnic diversity. The family moved back east in 1950, settling in Parsippany. Ren was reunited with fellow students where they all attended Boonton High School, graduating in the class of 1955.

Poised to attend the University of Rhode Island after high school, Ren’s collegiate career took a sharp turn the summer before college when he learned of a program offered by the U.S. Army Ordinance Corps stationed at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. Through work at the arsenal, Ren was able to attend Northeastern University in Boston where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and gained critical practical experience working at the arsenal during summers and cooperative semesters. He later added a master’s degree in civil engineering to his academic portfolio.

Ren started his professional career in 1960 as a test engineer for the aerospace company, Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT. His career at Pratt & Whitney spanned 32 years during which much of what he did centered around analyzing structure failures or “incidents,” particularly plane crashes.

Around this time, Ren’s sister was encouraging him to go out on blind dates with all her friends, which he did on a regular basis. It was on a double blind date that he met Corrie Triewth, who was on the date with someone else. They hit it off immediately and were married in 1961. “Corrie’s seams on her stockings were always perfectly straight,” was an observation Ren made back then which he references today.

Corrie became a pastor with the United Church of Christ and the couple adopted two children, Carmen and Chris. At one point in his career, Ren began turning down promotions to spend more time with the family and the couple later moved so Corrie’s commute was reduced and Ren’s became longer. Ren retired in 1992 and went to work for Corrie who had established a holistic health center. The two later formed Plus Publications, a publishing company which they ran for more than 14 years.

Corrie and Ren learned of the Rudolf Steiner Institute which led them to Camphill Village in Copake where they heard about plans to build a retirement and assisted living community in Chatham. They rented a cottage in Austerlitz and began meeting area residents, including Joan Weitzner, who was also on the waiting list to move into Camphill Ghent. Corrie and Ren moved into Willow Lodge in January 2012 and reside in Sunrise now.

 

Happy Birthday, Ren! We are so glad you are at Camphill Ghent!