Nancy Julia (Merz) Renner

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Nancy Julia (Merz) Renner, 93, of New Castle, passed away peacefully on the morning of Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at home surrounded by her family.

She was born on September 2, 1926, in Muncie, Indiana, a daughter of the late Harry L. and Emily (Carmichael) Merz.

Nancy grew up in Muncie and graduated from Muncie Central High School, then attended Ball State Teachers College, where she majored in English and French. While at Ball State, she was treasurer of the freshman class and belonged to Kappa Delta Pi, an honorary fraternity. She also belonged to the Girls Club and Spotlight Club, was a member of Gamma Gamma Sorority and the Inter-Sorority Council, serving as president of both. She met her future husband, Jack Renner, on campus and they were married in August 1948 at High Street Methodist Church in Muncie following graduation.

She taught at Elwood, Spiceland High School, and Tri High and finished her teaching in Adult Basic Education. Nancy was a life member of ISTA and NEA. She was very active in the community and had served on the boards of the YMCA, The Christian Love Center, Family Connection, Salvation Army, where she was chairman for 14 years, and the New Castle-Henry County Public Library. She participated each year in the Day of Caring, delivered Meals on Wheels, and served on the Ball State Alumni Council. Her memberships included Tri Kappa Sorority where she had been a member for 76 years and Sorosis Literary Club.

A devoted member of the First United Methodist Church since 1953, Nancy had been a trustee, served on many committees, the blood draw for many years, taught an adult Sunday School Class for 43 years, and sang in the choir. She belonged to the very first Bible Study Fellowship group.

Nancy and her family loved camping and in addition to visiting many of Indiana’s state parks, enjoyed two six-week camping trips to the east and west coasts. She and Jack helped chaperone 32 students on a three-week trip to Europe in 1969 and they were able to travel to Europe several times after retirement. They enjoyed local activities and appreciated many years at the Indianapolis Symphony. Nancy especially liked classical music, swimming, visiting the beach, and reading. She and Jack attended many of their grandchildren’s school and sports activities and were very proud of their accomplishments.

Those left to cherish Nancy’s memory include her two sons, Jeffrey Renner of Cleveland, OH and Chris (Melanie) Renner of New Castle; a daughter, Julie Renner of New Castle; three grandchildren, Allison (Ryan) Madison, Abigail Renner (fiancé: Quinn), and Brady Renner all of New Castle; one great-grandson, Simon Madison; a sister, Peggy Gant of Glendale, AZ, and many nieces and nephews.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Jack Renner; a daughter, Cathie Renner Adams; a brother, Bob Merz; and two sisters, Mary Lou Dodd and Martha Sue Lanning.

A Celebration of Nancy’s Life will take place at 11:00 am Monday, July 13, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church, 1324 Church St, New Castle, with Pastor Eric Haler officiating. Burial will follow in South Mound Cemetery West Lawn Addition.

Friends may call from 2 – 6 pm Sunday at Sproles Family Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be offered to the New Castle-Henry County Library – or the Jack Renner Scholarship at the Henry County Community Foundation – You may send the family a personal condolence at

The Sproles family and staff are honored to serve the family of Nancy Julia (Merz) Renner.