Renata “Renee” Widor, 42, passed away on Friday, April 2, 2021, losing her battle with drug addiction. Through much of her adulthood, she struggled to break free from its merciless grip. Renee was much more than her addiction though: she was a wonderful person full of promise gone too early.
Daughter of Krystyna Widor and the late Edward Widor, Renee was born in Springfield on May 15, 1978 and spent much of her life in Ludlow. Renee was caring, smart, and adventurous. Growing up, she loved biking and exploring the neighborhood with her siblings, friends, and cousins. She loved roller coasters, Riverside, and Six Flags as well as going to the Eastfield Mall. A favorite spot to explore was Camp White where she liked to catch tadpoles. Renee was especially passionate about animals, bringing home countless cats, dogs, and other pets (something she would continue to do even recently, when she rescued a cowering, injured dog from downtown Springfield). She dreamed of becoming a veterinarian when she grew up.
A graduate of Ludlow High School, Renee developed a budding talent as an artist. She was a cheerleader and ran cross-country and track. Her bright disposition and friendly, compassionate nature attracted her to lots of people. She also first started her drug use in high school—it seemed like harmless, youthful experimentation. For Renee however, it became the addiction that would slowly consume her life.
Renee gained motivation to seek recovery with the birth of her daughter, Keyana. Kiki was the love of her life. Renee remained driven to the very end to find a way to get better not only for herself but also for Kiki. She feared losing Kiki, but—more than anything—she wanted Kiki to succeed and to have a better life. Renee’s innumerable recovery efforts would take her from Pittsfield to Cape Cod. On the Cape, she was admitted to Angel House, which gave her and Kiki stable shelter and a chance to rehabilitate away from her existing chaotic surroundings, negative triggers, and enablers. Renee cherished the quiet moments, spending time with Kiki walking the beaches and searching for seashells or cuddling up to watch a movie. Renee seemed to have turned a corner and was upbeat about her future, the prospect of finding a steady job, and possibly returning to school to pursue graphic design.
Drug addiction is unforgiving, leaving a rubble of destruction that doesn’t disappear after recovery. Drug addicts, especially women and mothers like Renee, also face significant social stigmatization. Renee continued to battle for years, relapsing but always hoping she would prevail.
Renee was a human being with a substance use disorder. She was an amazing, kind person with hopes and dreams and tremendous potential. She was a compassionate person who would take in vulnerable animals. She was an aspiring artist. She was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.
Renee is at last free.
Renee is survived by her treasured daughter Keyana Cope of Ludlow; her mother Krystyna Widor of Ludlow; her brother Thomas Widor and his wife Sarah of Washington, DC; and her sister Theresa Gornall and her husband Justin of Valrico, FL as well as her nieces and nephews Bryant, Logan, John, and Ellie. She was predeceased by her father Edward Widor in 2011. Renee was a member of Christ the King Parish in Ludlow.
Services are private. Renee will be laid to rest in St. Aloysius Cemetery reunited with her doting dad and beloved grandmother, Julia Widor.
Donations may be made in Renee’s memory to the Housing Assistance Corporation, the nonprofit affordable housing organization that operates Angel House, at https://haconcapecod.org/make-donation.
If you or someone close to you needs help for a substance use disorder, please talk to a doctor or call or visit SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
All Services are private
Donations may be made in Renee’s memory to the Housing Assistance Corporation, the nonprofit affordable housing organization that operates Angel House, at https://haconcapecod.org/make-donation