It is with a deep sense of loss that I must inform clients, former co-workers, and the general public of the passing on September 5, 2012, of my long-time colleague and good friend, Ms. Delpha Renard. She died peacefully after a protracted battle with lung cancer. Delpha fought valiantly for about 18 months after the initial diagnosis, and toughed her way through multiple rounds of radiation treatment and chemotherapy, doctor visits too numerous to count, needle biopsies, CT scans, and the debilitating symptoms associated with advanced lung cancer.
I will greatly miss my old friend Delpha, but I do take comfort from knowing that her pain and suffering are at an end, and that she is at peace now. I would like to thank the wonderful staff at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Cottonwood Canyon Healthcare Center for taking great care of Delpha during her final days. It’s never easy to watch a good friend decline before your eyes and pass away, but the doctors and nurses at these medical centers made sure that Delpha had the necessary comfort care.
For those of you who didn’t know Ms. Delpha Renard, she was a “character,” to say the least. A bit eccentric (by her own admission), Delpha was by turns witty, smart, funny, tough as nails on the outside, and a great big sentimental softie on the inside. She was also extremely knowledgeable in many areas and had accumulated an amazing amount of experience over her long and eventful life, experience that she generously and happily shared with those clients who had the privilege of working with her over the years.
Delpha was certainly no stranger to struggle, loss, and tragedy, but through it all she remained tough, sassy, independent, unbowed, and – just plain prickly. 🙂 Just ask any of the debt collectors she dealt with during her stint as a professional debt negotiator, or the many clients for whom she provided that much-needed “tough love” to get them going on resolving their debt problems.
Time and again, I would direct anxious clients to Delpha for assistance, and by the end of the conversation, they would always be laughing and joking like old friends. She had that knack, that intangible “something” that people instantly recognized. She was a genuine human being with a heart of gold, and she really cared about the people she was trying to help.
Delpha also loved animals with a deep passion, and one of her main concerns during her illness was to ensure proper care for her two dogs, cat, and four birds. Thankfully, all of her beloved pets were quickly placed with good loving homes, and they are all doing fine now. Near the end, once it became clear that she was no longer in a position to care for them herself anymore, I’m sure that Delpha took great comfort from knowing her pets would still be fine.
Delpha is survived by two brothers, as well as her siblings’ several children. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to express condolences please consider contributing an equivalent value to the non-profit organization headed by the wonderful loving neighbor who provided daily assistance, comfort, and care to Delpha during her final months. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the following address:
Birth Parent Association
529 Hart Drive, Unit #7
El Cajon, CA 92021
Thank you, Delpha, for being such a loyal friend all these years. May you now have the peace and rest that you deserve.
Pamela Toohey says
Thank you for the presenting the opportunity for others to know about our friend Delpha. Your description of her is right on, from warm and fuzzy to a prickly pear, that was Delpha. For many people; clients, doctors and vendors, Delpha was a kind, considerate, knowledgeable, not-afraid-to-speak-her-mind voice on the phone. For friends and family, those that interacted personally with Delpha, she was always ready to put out her hand to others, was full of right on kind of no nonsense advice, and was always a fashion statement from her head to her toes. In the last year of her life, Delpha became interested in understanding, educating, and advocating trauma awareness and the stigma of mental health care consumers, domestic violence survivors and children in the foster care system. Delpha nurtured a friendship with a foster/adoptive youth and spent hours working on household and gardening projects together. Delpha didn’t let many people into her intimate circle and for those of you that missed that opportunity you missed knowing a very extraordinary woman.
Thank you Delpa Renard for your love and friendship. My prayers and support goes out to Delpha’s family and to all of you whose lives she touched.
Pamela Toohey, CEO
Birth Parent Association
Pam, thanks for your comment, and thank you so much for being there when Delpha really needed someone close by to help. What you did for her was so far “above and beyond the call of duty,” words cannot begin to describe it.
Jerry Nordstrom says
thank you for sharing this memory of Delpha. I had the pleasure to work with Delpha and she was all that you describe. A strong personality with a kind heart. I know she is at peace now and smiling down upon us. – Jerry
Jerry, thanks so much for posting your thoughts.
Michael Reminger says
Thank you for the AWESOME tribute to our friend Delpha. I just found out about her passing two days ago. She was capable of turning a negative into a positive on any given client or task. We would often be outside having CIGARETTES together during breaks and we would chat about life, the company we worked for/with and anything else that came to mind. She had a VERY type “A” personality (like me) so although she was very sarcastic and brutally honest at times, she had a heart of GOLD. Thank you for being a part of my life Delpha. I know that you are in a better place with God and my mother and father. You will be greatly missed here on earth and may you RIP, but I look forward to seeing you on the other side whenever it is my time.
Michael, good to hear from you. Thanks for your posting your thoughts — she was a great lady she will definitely be missed by many. Now, please QUIT SMOKING! The WORST day of nicotine withdrawal will be like a walk in the park compared to the BEST day with lung cancer. By the way, Delpha did quit after getting her cancer diagnosis. She told me: “I could not have possibly felt any worse than I already did, so why not quit smoking?”