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Rennie William Brantz
December 5, 1942 ~ October 9, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Rennie William Brantz was born on December 5, 1942, in Hartford, Connecticut, to Ed and Alva Brantz. He spent his childhood in Nebraska and Great Bend, Kansas. He met Lana, his future wife, in high school, and they married at the age of 20 after being high school sweethearts.
Rennie went to Doane University in Nebraska, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He then received multiple Fulbright scholarships to study in Germany for three years before returning to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. at Ohio State University on a full scholarship.
In 1973, he joined the History Department at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, as a professor of German History, where he was employed for 42 years. During his tenure, he was recognized with numerous awards for outstanding service, including The Appalachian State University Outstanding Teachers Award. He was one of the founders and directors of the freshman seminar program, and a scholarship was created in his honor. He established the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies with Dr. Zohara Boyd. Rennie participated in the summer study abroad program and took students to Europe for 17 years. He retired from Appalachian State University in 2015.
Rennie was elected to Boone Town Council in 2003 and served for ten years before being elected Mayor of Boone for eight years. His most significant achievement on the town council was helping to create the Historic Preservation Commission, which established a historic district in Boone and helped save the downtown Boone Post Office. Rennie was also a member of the Boone Lions Club for many years and enjoyed participating in the club's activities, such as putting out flags on National Holidays.
"I think the goal that I had was to try and make life better for everyone in the community. Boone's a beautiful, wonderful place. It's been good to us and our family. It's offered opportunities we could not have gotten anywhere else.”
Rennie passed away peacefully on October 9, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Lana Brantz; his son, Douglas Brantz, and his wife, Allyson Lyons; his brother, Mac Brantz and Jane Merillat; his sister, Claudia Karp, and her husband, Robert; and his beloved Scotty dog Otis. He is also survived by numerous other family and friends, who will always remember him fondly. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers sent our way during this difficult time.
Friends may pay their respects at the Jones House in downtown Boone, NC, on Sunday, October 29, 3:00-5:00 p.m. to sign the guest book and share memories of Rennie.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies Appalachian State University, Box 32146, Boone, N.C. 28608