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Anthony Maurice Rennalt


Anthony Maurice Rennalt, aka Tony, 6’, gray hair, blue eyes, lanky frame.  He is a native Texan with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT and is holder of numerous patents and owner of several inventions prior to his coming to the Nelson Institute of Marine Research many years prior.  He is independently wealthy and lives the unconventional lifestyle of a beach bum, even in his later years.  Rennalt rarely dresses in anything other than jeans or shorts with Hawaiian shirts.


Rennalt grew up on a ranch in central Texas, the son of John Walker and Mandy Elizabeth Rennalt.  He was the youngest of four, having three older sisters.  In his early twenties, he was seriously injured after being thrown from an unbroken horse.  Nearly a year of hospitalization and physical therapy followed before he could walk again.  During that time, he came to realize his hidden talent for electronics and later decided to follow his interests in that field.  Because of his ingenuity and aptitude in the area, he was instrumental in the design of numerous patents and inventions, allowing him to live an extremely comfortable life.


Tony’s initial involvement with the fledgling Nelson Institute of Marine Research came with the ‘rescue’ of Harriman Nelson from a bar in Santa Barbara where Nelson had gone to drink himself into a stupor while mourning the violent death of his fiancée, Katherine Campbell.  Rennalt struck up a conversation with the depressed man and subsequently ended up taking him home and helped him to sober up.  The two men, though diametrically opposed in style and approach, end up forming a life long friendship.  Nelson, unaware of Rennalt’s personal wealth, offered him a job as the head of the Electrical Engineering department of the newly built Nelson Institute.  Over time, they collaborated on numerous projects.


The Institute ‘family’ recognizes Rennalt not only for his intellect, but for his extremely easy going and laid back style, as well as his uncanny ability to be the ‘conscience’ for several of its senior staff.  He is, for all intents and purposes, the proverbial ‘brickbat’ that they need at times to keep certain things in perspective.  He has no problem speaking his mind at times, much to the chagrin of both Nelson and Crane.  He is known for his sometimes distain for the rigidness of the military, yet he is fiercely loyal to the Seaview’s creator and her crew.  Tony retained the position as head of the Engineering Department, though in a semi-retired status, after Nelson’s own retirement.


He was briefly married twice.  Both marriages ended because he was, as he often laughed, too set in his ways to be married, even though he never lacked for female companionship.  After Harriman Nelson’s death, Rennalt became a friend and confidant to Karen Nelson.


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