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Rene would like to let you know that his final race here is complete. He left detailed instructions for Pam and the kids for his final lap.

In racing, the checkered flag symbolizes the end of the race. Rene threw those checkered flags on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 at his home on Lake Vermilion.

He was brought into the race world on Nov. 18, 1963 in Winnipeg, Man. by the late George “Ab” Smith and the late Irene Elaine Hughes.

He leaves behind his crew chief, Pamela, and his pit crew, Jessica Gustafson (Matt), Jennifer Reynolds (Aaron), and Jori Hughes (Randi); his mini crew, Brody, Jude, Sadie, Daisy, Ant, and Kate; sisters, Donna Christensen (Bob) and Elaine Smith; brother, Wayne Smith; aunties, Gladys Averill, Ellen Armstrong, and Ruth Gray; his buddy and best fan, Danny Christensen; and his fur babies, Minnie and Oki.

His race has been run and he now will be driving #21J for life and beyond. He put everything in that last lap, gave it his all, but crossed that line with pride in the most challenging, fearful, stressful, sad, lonely, enduring, and determined race of his life.

“Racing isn't about how long it takes you to get from the start to the finish; it's the adventure you have along the way, the people you meet, and the unique moments you share.”

His final lap was held on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 at the Green Larsen Funeral Home in International Falls.

Visitation was at 1 p.m. and services at 2 p.m.

He lived to race and raced to live, so race on and remember, it wasn't cancer that won—Rene won his final race.

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