Renwick Harlan Villafana was born in Aruba in 1955 to Visia Maria and Louis Carl Villafana. At the age of 5, he migrated to Trinidad from Aruba with his parents. At the time, he was flung head first into a new language, a new culture and a new world which he avidly embraced.
Knowing only Papiamento, the language of the Netherlands Antilles and a smattering of Dutch – learning English was his first challenge. He had a strong Roman Catholic background and avidly served as an acolyte in his parish church in St. James for many years.
At the age of 12, he entered the Abbey school – a Roman Catholic boarding school at Mt. St. Benedict run by Dutch priests. The separation from his parents and his younger brother was another hurdle that Renny had to face.
He spent his adolescent years there where he honed his leadership skills. He excelled in sports and was able to form lifelong friendships. Renny was proud to be a true Abbey boy.
Having grown up in the family’s medical supply business, on leaving school, Renny opted to go headfirst assisting his parents in this newly developing field with the same passion that he attacked everything else in his life.
It was during this time that he met Ann-Marie who would later become his wife. Ann-Marie joined the family business shortly after and they began working together as a team.
The Villafana reputation for excellence, quality and service continued to grow throughout the hospitals and nursing homes in Trinidad and Tobago.
Renny had a vision to bring health care into the home and he and Ann Marie branched out into the Home Health care aspect of the medical supply industry when they opened their own company – Villafana Home Health Care Limited, introducing products that would allow patients to convalesce at home in comfort. This was the first Home health care company in Trinidad and Tobago.
It was important to Renny to continue to search for ways to be on the cutting edge of the health care field. Renny had the knack for finding anything. It was common knowledge that if you could not find a product anywhere – check at Villafana’s.
After his father’s death, he assumed the reins of the family business having been successfully mentored by his father. Renny’s main focus was in developing and growing the business even further and he devoted many long hours staying on the vanguard of the medical equipment industry so that he could ensure that his parent’s legacy would be passed down to the third generation.
Renny was an avid tennis player with a wide network of friends on the tennis circuit. He loved Latin music and in his younger days was a fan of horse racing, a hobby he shared with his father and his good friend Dr. Phillip Teixiera.
In 1999, Renny and Ann Marie joined Jesus Elam Revival Assembly and were baptized into the Pentecostal faith. Renny was ordained Deacon and was Advisor to the Deacon Board. Renny embraced this with the same tenacity he had for life.
Like his father, he was a member of the Port of Spain Central Lions’ club. He dedicated the Safari 2000 held in the Emperor’s Valley Zoo to the memory of his father and was very proud of the fact that this was the most successful safari ever held.
Renny was truly a people person. He knew everybody and spoke with everybody. He even made friends with the dog across the street. He always joked that this was his friend. He treated everyone with dignity, no matter what their station in life. He loved to joke around and was well known to the community of St. James like his father was before him.
He was a devoted husband of 26 years to Ann Marie and a loving father to Nabila and Giancarlo. One of his greatest joys in life was when his children, at an early age expressed their interest in learning about the family business and joined him on his daily treks to the office and on the field. The circle is now complete and even in these most unexpected circumstances – his life long dream will continue.