Merle Renner, age 65

Merle J. Renner

June 20, 1950 - December 27, 2015

Merle James Renner died unexpectedly on December 27, 2015. He was born in Wall, S.D. on the 20th of June, 1950 to Kenneth John and Grace (Smith) Renner. He was raised on a farm/ranch north of the town of Wall, and later on a farm/ranch near Quinn, S.D.

He attended school at Wall Public Schools and a one-room schoolhouse in Peno Basin. He then attended High School in Wall, as well as Longview, Wa., where he graduated and went subsequently

to the University of South Dakota and the University of Washington. He specialized at a later date in medical and industrial photography at Brooks Institute of Photography (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Ohio Institute of Photography & Technology (Dayton, Ohio) where he graduated and completed an internship at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.).

Merle worked for many years in the oil industry in Colo., Wyo. and off-shore in Calif., and in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Other professions throughout his lifetime included more than a decade as a Medical Photographer at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Medical Illustration Department, as well as a long-haul truck driver and eventually purchased his own rig to continue his trade (Merle Renner Trucking).

He was a standout football player on his powerhouse State Champion high school team and also played football and ran track on a scholarship for the University of Washington Huskies. He was an upstanding citizen of the Chapel Hill community for over 20 years and enjoyed participating with his sons' Chapel Hill/Carrboro Pacers running club as volunteer coach as well as with several of their basketball teams during their school years and recently played with the Chapel Hill Softball League.

Merle is survived by his sons, Jonathan and Benjamin of Chapel Hill, N.C.; their mother and Merle's friend, Marie Anne (Renner) Erdle; four brothers, Kenneth (Joan) Renner of Prescott, Ariz., Bud Renner of Kelso, Wa, Bruce Renner of Rapid City, and Scott Pippert (Wanda) of Beach, N.D. His extended family includes many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Grace (Pippert) Renner; and one sister, Jean Lavonne. He also leaves behind his dog Brook, his faithful pit bull road companion.

There will be a visitation for friends and family at Walker's Funeral Home (120 W. Franklin St. Chapel Hill, N.C. 27516) on Sunday, January 10, 2016, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Flowers are also accepted and may be sent to the Funeral Home.

Merle's friendly spirit will be missed by those who knew him well.

Friends may sign her online guest register at

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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