Travis Alden Reneau, longtime Coronado resident, San Diego automotive executive and father of six, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 1 at the age of 93 at his home in the Coronado Shores.
A native Californian who was born in Los Angeles, Travis moved often in his childhood, as his parents followed opportunities in the automotive industry. He lived in various California locations in his youth, including El Monte, Inglewood, and Oakland.
He attended the University of Utah, before transferring to the University of Southern California, which began a lifelong affiliation with his beloved Trojans. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at both universities. He also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before he started his business career.
Travis eventually settled in Chula Vista where he and his father owned and operated the very successful South Bay Chevrolet dealership for five decades until Travis retired in 1996.
He remained a fervent follower of USC athletics throughout his adult life, was a longtime season ticket holder of the San Diego Chargers and also loved his Los Angeles Dodgers.
Travis became an accomplished runner and golfer and was the longest tenured member of the San Diego Country Club when he passed. With a single-digit handicap, he won several club titles. However, he had to wait until he was in his 80s for his lone hole-in-one, which he accomplished at the Sea and Air Golf Course in Coronado.
After quitting smoking in his 40s, he soon became an avid jogger, usually running 5 miles or more at least three times a week and often participated in 10k races with his sons in Manhattan Beach. He also enjoyed regular tennis games with friends and family.
He was very active in the Chula Vista community, being elected as an officer with the Chula Vista Athletic Club and the Snowgooser fraternal organization. He was ever the optimist, a bon vivant, wordsmith, clothes horse, lover of life, and noted by his friends and family for his sense of humor, kindness, generosity, and storytelling abilities.
Travis married the former Patricia Sprague in 1952 and together they had five sons; later marrying Peggy Wenstrom in 1961 and had a daughter with her.
Besides sports, his favorite moments were traveling with his children, as he would often take his family to Hawaii. He enjoyed boating and also made regular trips to Aspen, St. Barts, London, and other parts of Europe. In his final years, he split time between his residences in Coronado and Rancho Mirage. He loved reading his mystery novels, listening to Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, and others and taking his precious dog, a Kerry Blue Terrier named Lucas, whom he “shared” with his daughter, Paige, on walks.
The son of A.L. “Lou” Reneau Jr. and Jessie Reneau, Travis is survived by his children, Scott (Margaret) Reneau of St. Augustine, Florida, Kevin (Pamela) of Moraga, California, Gary (Janice) Reneau of Morristown, New Jersey, Greg Reneau of Santa Monica, California, Brad Reneau of San Diego, and Paige Reneau of Huntington Beach, California; grandchildren Renee and Rick, Samantha, Jackson, Dario and Cheryl, Calvin, Charlie and Marcus, and Parker; and his sister Dawn Walton of Rancho Mirage.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the San Diego Food Bank in his memory.
A private memorial for his family and close friends will be held at the Glen Abbey Memorial Park on Thursday, July 23 at 2 p.m.