Doctor followed father's footsteps in service
As a Navy doctor who saw service during the Vietnam War, Dr. Alan Renton followed in his father's footsteps, serving his country in a time of war.
His father, Dr. Gordon Renton, an Army doctor and noted plastic surgeon, had tended to the GIs serving on the battlefields of Europe during World War II.
Dr. Alan C. Renton of Presto, a community in Collier, died in St. Clair Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, from lingering injuries sustained from a fall last summer. He was 70.
From 1966 until 1968, he served aboard a transport ship taking GIs to the battlefields of Vietnam and bringing them back to the states, their tours of duty complete.
"Alan was proud to have served his country during a time of war," said his wife, Bonnie Renton, an adolescent counselor.
"He was a true American who felt that every man who was able had an obligation to go into the service of his country when his country called."
Born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, Dr. Renton was one of three children in the family of Dr. Gordon Renton and his wife, Marjorie Borton Renton.
In 1957, after graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School, Alan Renton enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his undergraduate and medical degrees.
After his tour of duty in Vietnam, Dr. Renton, returned to civilian life in 1968. He served as the chief resident at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., prior to specializing in plastic surgery, like his father.
"Alan, who had offices in Washington County, was a trauma surgeon for St. Clair Hospital and hospitals in Washington County," said his wife.
"He was admired and appreciated for the time he took in preparing his patients for surgery. Alan would go into detail with his patients and when he was finished, he'd tell them to go home and decide if they wanted to go through with the surgery," Bonnie Renton added.
His wife recalled his patience and care when treating a youngster whose ear was bitten by a dog.
The former Bonnie Mancini was a resident of Mt. Lebanon when she met her future husband, then a senior in medical school. "I found Alan to be an intelligent, kind, caring and thoughtful man. We were married in 1967."
His wife said her husband was involved in the Mt. Lebanon community.
"Alan participated in Festival 84, which raised funds to provide grants for teachers in the Mt. Lebanon School district to take on individual projects of interest."
Dr. Renton, who enjoyed cooking, became a restaurant owner and entrepreneur while continuing his practice.
"Alan purchased a marina in Speers (Washington County) in 1985 and built a restaurant, which he named Smitty's," said his wife.
"Our daughter, Ainsley, was both chef and baker, while Alan sold watercrafts. It was a boon to the community," his wife added. "Soon after, our daughter, Keira, who showed interest in cooking, also trained to became a chef.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Renton is survived by his children, Jay Renton of Mt. Lebanon, Ainsley Renton of Presto, Keira Hightower of Mt. Lebanon and Colby Fazio of South Fayette, and six grandchildren.
He is also survived by a brother, David Renton of Toledo, Ohio, and Janice Renton of Carnegie.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today in Southminster Presbyterian Church, Mt. Lebanon.
Interment is private. Funeral arrangements by Beinhauers.