Retired U.S. Army Major General Eugene Carmen Renzi, father of U.S. Representative Rick Renzi, died Saturday at his home. He was 74.
He was president of Mantech International Corporation Defense Systems Group.
General Renzi was born and grew up in East Boston and in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he holds records in football, track and field, and is an inductee in the Watertown High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
He received his bachelor's and then his master's degrees in education at Northeastern University, where he was captain of the undefeated Northeastern University Huskies football team in 1956 and 1957 and entered the Northeastern Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
He married the captain of the Northeastern cheerleader squad, Faye Marie Barker, in 1957. She died in 1986.
The Chicago Cardinals NFL team drafted Renzi, and he played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1970 and the National War College in 1979.
He served two tours of duty in Vietnam where he received multiple honors including the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
He served in a wide variety of positions with the Army before retiring in 1990, including deputy chief of staff for operations and plans, USA Communication Command, Fort Huachuca; and his final assignment as director for command and control and communication systems, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii.
At Mantech International he managed corporate business development endeavors relating to defense communications activities that span six continents and support U.S. military efforts around the world.
Surviving Renzi are five children: Congressman Richard G. Renzi and his wife Roberta of Arizona; Robert L. Renzi and his wife Tina of Flushing, New York; Ronald P. Renzi and his wife Darci of Leesburg, Virginia; Regina M. James and her husband Roger of Ashburn, Virginia; and Ralph D. Renzi and his wife Vanessa of Springfield, Virginia.
Also surviving are two brothers, Phillip Renzi of Florida and Richard Renzi of Pennsylvania; his long-time devoted friend, Stephanie Gaskill; and 23 grandchildren.
After a Memorial Mass in Annandale, Virginia, on February 21, 1998, burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery.
Renzi's favorite charities were the Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Veterans.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard