On Saturday, April 30, 2022, we lost a great mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and mensch. Renee Gordon Neikrie died peacefully in her sleep after a long battle with dementia. Renee (pronounced Re- nee) worked for her family’s local grocery store in Springfield, MA before moving attending a local college in Springfield and then the University of Massachusetts, where she majored in nutritional sciences. She accepted a position at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in West Hartford, where she remained more than 30 years, eventually running the kitchen and menu. In 1954, she married Max Joseph Neikrie, and they had two boys, Leonard and Mark. Her husband died tragically young, at age 57. A true independent woman, however, she dedicated the rest of her life to family, friends, and service. She supported and volunteered at events statewide for The Special Olympics. She was a “spy” for the Israeli army, spending many weeks a year testing radios and packing back packs for soldiers. She worked for 13 years in a classroom in a magnet school where she was beloved by students from diverse communities around Hartford. She devotedly served breakfast to the “Minioneers,” at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Harford, arriving at 6:30 (after walking 3-6 miles around the Reservoir on Route 44). A tiny woman, barely 5 feet tall, Renee volunteered at a farm, leading the horses for pony rides for children with disabilities. She was a member of the auxiliary board at the Hebrew home and on the board for Jewish family services. She traveled extensively – to Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, the U.S. national parks, and throughout Europe. She loved musicals, the opera, and Tanglewood. An avid skier, she hung up her skis at the age of 83. A devoted friend, she regularly hosted dinners for her friends and family, some of whom were friends for more than 80 years! She lived an enviable life full of good deeds and happiness despite tragic losses that would have derailed a lesser person. She is survived by her son, Mark Neikrie, of Glastonbury, his wife, Nancy, and their two children, Jesse and Jamie. Her other son, Leonard, predeceased her, but is survived by her grandson, Jeffrey Neikrie on New York City. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Special Olympic of Connecticut, Jewish Family Services, or any charity of the reader’s choice. May we all aspire to live as she did, a life of optimism, passion, love, family, friends, and deep commitment to others and humanity. The funeral will be held at the Emanuel Cemetery, 1361 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield, CT at 1 pm on Tuesday, May 3, followed by a gathering at the Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, CT.