Rena was born in Birmingham, daughter of Haskins Williams, III and Mary Tippins Williams. She attended Randolph-Macon College, the University of Florida, and Auburn University as an undergraduate. She subsequently earned an MA in English at the University of Washington in Seattle. While a graduate student, she started a small business, The Bonneteers, for which she designed and produced bonnets, bibs, and soft dolls for infants and toddlers. She sold these at Pike Place Market in Seattle and at Boston’s Faneuil Hall. She also worked as an editor and taught at North Carolina State University.
For 35 years, Rena was a watercolorist. She painted daily and produced more than 2,000 works, including many brilliantly colored abstracts that suggest the sea or slices of gem-laden earth. Rena loved Baroque and Classical music, and listened for hours to Monteverdi, Haydn, and Mozart while working in her studio. She also provided emotional and financial support to several young musicians.
Rena is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Elizabeth Jones of Birmingham, by aunts and uncles including long-time Auburn residents Frances Tippins and John and Minnie Fries, and by her son Robert Hughes Mount, Jr. She is survived by her husband, Steve Harrison, daughter Mary Dansak (Joe), granddaughters Sarah Davis (Blanton), Emma Dansak, and Anna Dansak, great-granddaughters Annabelle Davis and Ruby Davis, sister Mary T. Hoff, aunt Pat Hudson, and by dear cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Rena was unceasingly creative and full of love for her family and friends. A burial liturgy will take place at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2021, with a reception to follow.