Renee Dyane Carleton passed away peacefully at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa on May 15, 2023 at the age of 51, following complications arising from a surgery.
The beloved wife of Tom Golem, the two of them spent 22 years together building a beautiful family and a wonderful life in Ottawa after moving from Saskatchewan. Renee is the proud mother to William (16) and Jonathan (14), who love her dearly. Renee will forever be their biggest cheerleader at hockey rinks, ski hills, track and field competitions, music recitals, academic endeavors and all other life events.
Renee is also grieved by her parents, Terry and Alice Carleton, and her sister and best friend Sherry Carleton. All were by her side and holding her hand as she said goodbye to this world. She is also survived by her Grandmother Wilma Weinberger, her brother-in-law Bruce Royer and nephews Kaden and Ethan Royer. Renee was predeceased by her Grandparents Wallace and Joyce Carleton and her Grandfather Joseph Weinberger.
Born on February 9, 1972, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, she spent her formative years there initiating a life long love of playing music (piano, trumpet and singing). Renee then lived with her family in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, perfecting her musical skills and honing her athletic abilities with her lifelong close friends on the basketball and volleyball courts, and in the auditorium at high-school concerts and performances. All of this was the foundation of a rich life and a love of a small-town community atmosphere.
Upon graduation, Renee jetted to Paris to become an au pair and study French. This was followed by her studies at the University of Regina, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. Her bilingualism was a bonus on the Saskatchewan prairie, opening the door to work with several federal government departments. A move to Ottawa in 2002, allowed Renee to expand her responsibilities at Employment and Social Development Canada and ultimately Global Affairs until her retirement in 2017. Through her various positions in government, she most enjoyed helping people and to improve the lives of those whom she interacted with.
Finding her place in Ottawa, Renee became an integral part of the Manor Park neighbourhood. With an outgoing personality, a love of hosting get-togethers and Grey Cup parties with Tom, where the two pioneered many new drinks, Renee thrived in building a beautiful group of very close friends and neighbours. Whether it be dinner dances, house parties, Easter egg hunts or backyard recitals for her piano students, Renee always had a smile, a laugh and the best stories. In the last few years, Renee would often be seen stopped and chatting to everyone in Manor Park as she rolled in her wheelchair walking her sweet dog, Duchess. Relentlessly cheerful and always with an opinion, she offered guidance and friendship to all.
Although doctors diagnosed Renee with Multiple Sclerosis when she was in her twenties, she never believed that a disability would hold her back. She was fiercely determined not to let the disease slow her down. Her strength, determination, drive and hard work in dealing with this long-term condition is one of her most admired attributes by both family and friends. Not to be outdone by her children’s athletic abilities, Renee took up sit-skiing with Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS), waterskiing with Ski-ability and curling on the cusp of turning 50. After spending much of the fall 2022 in the hospital, Renee returned to the ski hill to bomb down the slopes.
Renee will always be remembered as an outgoing, fun loving, sassy, strong, intelligent woman with a bright smile and beautiful bold blue eyes. She will be dearly missed.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Friday, June 2nd, 2023, at Beechwood, Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services (280 Beechwood Ave. Ottawa, ON) from 5-7pm.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Renee’s name to CADS- Summit Edelweiss program https://www.cads-ncd.ca/contact-cads-ncd/donate/ , SkiAbility Ottawa http://www.skiabilityottawa.ca/ or the MS Society of Canada https://mscanada.ca/
I am so sorry to hear of you loss Tom. I offer my heartfelt sympathy during this time of sadness. My best to you and your children. May the wonderful memories of your wife be a blessing for you.
Our heartfelt condolences to the entire family.
Renee was such a Force and I loved chatting with her on the street and at MP School while our kids were there. I got to know her better while working with her on the Carleton-Golem house, and I was so impressed with her intelligence, wit, sense of humour, joie de vivre and eclectic, chic and fun style. She accomplished so much and loved her family so hard - I'm remembering how close she said she felt to her grandmother, and loooved the regular telephone chats they had together. She couldn't have been more proud of her boys, and loved Tom with all her heart.
I wish I could be in Ottawa to celebrate Renee's life with you all, but just know that I am thinking of her family and dear friends during this very sad time.
Our deepest sympathies (from Barbados),
Nancy (and Tom) O'Brien
Diana L Humenick
Sending love and strength as you mourn and celebrate. A loving little girl became a loving woman.
Tom and family, I realize there are no words to ease the pain you all must certainly be overcome with at this time. Losing a loving wife and mother must be indescribable pain. Know that someone who shared so much life with you will always be a part of you. Bonds like yours are forever. My sincere condolences to you and your family. I am so sorry for you lose.
My heartfelt condolences to you Tom, and to your boys. Renée was beautiful, inside and out, and although her and I did not work together for very long, she has touched my heart and my soul. She had this presence and magic about her and she always found a way to make you smile. She was kind, witty and sassy; someone you just cannot forget. Sending you strength during this difficult time.
Melodie Cieckiewicz (formerly VanLoosen)
I am very sad to here this heartbreaking news. My deepest condolences and prayers.
Ruth kiely Winnipeg
Terry and Alice …my heart goes out to you both. How lucky were you to have this last winter with her and her family . Prayers to you all💕
Not only did Renee light up when she saw her own kids but she was also always so happy to see the other kids in the neighbourhood (and the feeling was mutual!) She always took the time to visit with every single child on the street and she genuinely listened to what they had to say, regardless of their age or stage.
Three things stand out to me when thinking of Renee:
1) The absolute adoration and pride she had for Will and Jon
2) Her ability to drop everything at any time to cherish the special moments and not let them slip away (and there were many of them.) “The sun’s out. Come and pick me up. We’re going to a patio.”
3) The horrified yet amused look on adoring Tom’s face when Renee would throw caution (and safety)to the wind, defying all rules, doctor’s orders, and municipal laws:)
Ren- I hope you’re sipping crisp glasses of white wine in the sun and running barefoot through rolling hills, free and at peace.
You will be so missed. Xo