Rinaldo Peter "Rex" Vian was born in Essex, Ontario, Canada on July 15, 1924. Rex was a star student at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. After graduation, Rex relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where he was a highly valued designer at Cardinal Industries. Rex was a devoted husband to Ruth for 25 years, and during their marriage, the two had five children: Kathleen, Toni, Mark, Corey, and Martin. After Rex's separation from Ruth, he discovered the love of his life in a co-worker, Camille Renouard, a woman he first met when she was only seven years old and the friend of his oldest daughter. True soulmates, Rex and Camille loved and adored each other and knew, later on, when their paths crossed again, that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Rex proposed to Camille on their second date, which was 17 years after that first meeting, and gave her a beautiful antique Italian silver and diamond engagement ring. Of course, she said "yes" immediately because Rex and Camille shared a once-in-a-lifetime love. They never let a day go by without telling each other, and showing each other, how much the other was adored. The time they spent together was filled with adventure and joy, and they shared everything, no matter how intimate. They truly became one in spirit. It was no surprise, when, in 1972, Camille became pregnant. In 1973, Camille, with Rex by her side, gave birth to Rex's sixth and youngest child, Christian Peter Rex Vian. Christian and Camille were the center and light of Rex's life, and both parents were totally in love with baby Christian. He is the child most like Rex, and he shares, not only Rex's looks, but his sweetness, his ready smile, and his genuine charm as well. With a trip to Italy on the horizon, Rex and Camille were planning their wedding and celebrating their life together with their year-old son. But, sadly, Rex died on April 5, 1974. Rex was highly creative and intelligent, a man of sensitivity and passion, who felt a great responsibility to those he loved. He was liberal in politics, an advocate for women's rights, a firm believer in healthcare for all, and an environmentalist. Rex had an infectious laugh, a ready smile, and a real sense of fun. He was very proud of his Italian roots, something he passed along to all of his children, especially young Christian.  All who knew Rex loved and admired him, and none more so than Christian and Camille. Though they miss Rex's physical presence in their daily lives, his spirit lives in their hearts and fills each day with love and joy. They will love him forever, with the same deep and abiding passion with which he loved them. 

Tributes are short messages commemorating Rinaldo, or an expression of support to his closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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Can't Believe It's Been So Long!

Shared by G C Renoir on April 5, 2022
My darling Rex,

I can't believe you've been gone so many years! I've missed you every minute of every day. You were "the one," Rex, darling, the one big love of my life, the love that most people never get. We were so lucky, and I'm so blessed to have darling Christian in my life. He looks just like you, he speaks just like you, and he's so talented, just like you. He draws, he paints, he sculpts, he designs, he does it all. I wish you could have lived to see him grow up, especially because you're the reason he's here. You saved our little son's life that day in the hospital waiting room. I can never thank you enough for that, Rex darling. Without Christian, my life would be so impoverished. He is the best of both of us, darling, the very best.

Of course, I miss you, especially on this day, but I miss you every day. I think of you every day. I think of all the wonderful days we've had more than this day, the day that took you away from me. I remember our first real date when we sat side-by-side in the restaurant, and I was so nervous I ate nothing but French Onion soup. I remember the time you took Dana and me out for spaghetti, and we both laughed at how much such a little boy could eat. I remember the wonderful night you gave me my engagement ring, the ring set in antique Italian silver. I treasure it. I treasure you. I remember us laughing in bed, I remember us scared together when baby Christian was ill, and I remember the joy we felt when we brought him home, healthy and happy at last. We packed a lifetime of memories into two years, darling. And we'll be together again...someday. I know we will. Wait for me, my darling. Please. Wait for me.

I love you.


Happy Birthday, Darling Rex!

Shared by G C Renoir on July 15, 2021
Happy birthday, darling Rex!

This has been such a crazy year, for me and for all six of your children as well as your grandchildren. I know you would have sailed through it just fine, darling, and, while I did well, I know I would have done better with you by my side.

But, you are always in my heart, darling, and your spirit fills my soul with love and contentment. We have a son! We have a son who has grown up to look just like you! And he's artistic, too. He does fabulous work in every medium: oils, watercolors, pastels, metal, clay, you name it, Christian can work in it. His wonderful son, Michael, your youngest grandson, is also quite artistic. One of his favorite Christmas presents is always an art set. (Did you know that with one exception, all your grandchildren are boys? The Vian family, which began as a family of girls, became, with Mark's birth, a family of boys.)

I relive our unique and glorious love story every day. Who else gets to have a child with the man they fell in love with when they were only seven? Of course, you were thirty-two, but I still felt you were the most handsome man I'd ever met! And when I grew up and we went on our first date, it was heaven. The second one, of course, was even better. I loved every single minute I spent with you, and I hope and pray that we'll be together again some day. Reunited as one. I think we will be.

Happy birthday, my darling darling. I love you more than life itself.

Love forever and ever,


Dearest Rex

Shared by G C Renoir on April 17, 2021
Dearest, darling Rex,

Please don't think because I failed to write something here on the anniversary of your death, that I didn't think of you more than ever on that day. Of course I did. I didn't write because I simply didn't know what to say. There are no words to convey the sadness, the overwhelming grief, the emptiness I felt the day I lost you, and still do feel. Time does not heal all wounds. There are some wounds, and your death is one of them, that are not even blunted by the passage of time. If anything, time, and every day I live without you, have deepened my grief. It is now a part of who I am. But grief aside, I would not trade our time together for a lifetime with anyone else.

I also feel joy, my darling. Of all the women in all the world, you loved me. You were going to marry me. We were lovers. We knew passion. We knew every detail of each other's body. We knew how each other tasted, smelled, felt. We knew comfort. We were totally trusted best friends. Every night, I remember how I fell asleep in your arms, talking, laughing, crying, planning the future with our beautiful son. We knew the joy and exhilaration of simply being together. We knew the familiarity of being able to talk together about anything, to be totally open and honest, without fears. We knew the intimacy of pregnancy, of bringing a child into the world together. Sometimes, my dearest, dearest darling, I think maybe we had too much. Do any two people ever get to share as much as we shared? Do they get to feel as much joy, comfort, and connection? Though some will say they do, I very much doubt it.

As long as I live, my darling, you will live in my heart and in my soul. It is the memory of you and our glorious days together that allows me to see the full beauty of this world. To see through the pain and sadness that engulfs us during this time to the beauty that never changes. It is the memory of you that fills me with joy, with hope, with the drive to accomplish. To live.

The gifts of the spirit you gave me are incalculable, my dearest, darling soul. Thank you so very much. How did I get so very, very lucky? Through all of eternity, I can say, "Rex loved me." I love you, too, darling. You are my life, and in our wonderful son, runs your life and mine. He is you and me. He is what we are together, the best of both of us. He would have loved you as deeply as I do, darling, albeit in a very different way, of course, but deeply. He cherishes you, and your heritage, now.

These are my thoughts, my darling. At least the ones for which I could find words. They don't convey the breadth and depth I feel, but in this world, they will have to do. Only the heart hears what another heart speaks to it. I know your heart hears mine.

I love you, my darling. I loved you then, I love you now, and I will love you forever.

Love forever and ever,