School 07

Renée Fancher McFadden

June 23, 1958 ~ June 17, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old


Renée Fancher McFadden, 64, passed away at home on June 17, 2023.

Renée met the love of her life, Dave McFadden, on the first day of freshmen orientation at Manchester College in August 1976. They were inseparable by the time classes started, engaged in January and married the next November. For nearly 47 years, they shared the joys, worries, tenderness and companionship of married life.

Renée spent the final nine years of her life as first spouse of Manchester University, where Dave served as president. They were partners in the work, traveling for donor visits, attending myriad campus activities and hosting countless groups of students, colleagues and friends of the University at Tall Oaks, the president’s residence. Renée was an incomparable hostess, attending to the smallest details and creating a warm, inviting place for friends to gather. During their time as president and first spouse, Tall Oaks exuded welcome and reflected their lives and loves in its decorations and spirit.

Renée graduated from Manchester in 1982 and spent many years as an educator, teaching students from first grade through college. She spent most of her career teaching elementary school in California, North Manchester and Warsaw. “Mrs. McFadden” was an exceptionally effective teacher and loved by her students and colleagues. She spent two years on the faculty of Manchester College and several more as a classroom reading coach in Wabash and Kosciusko Counties. Renée particularly loved teaching reading and sharing favorite children’s books and authors with her students. She earned a Master’s in Education from Azusa Pacific University with an emphasis in reading.

Renée and Dave were avid gardeners, especially of hostas. Beyond their near infinite variety of sizes and foliage, they were easily divided and shared with friends, something which gave Renée great satisfaction. They enjoyed traveling by car, setting their GPS to avoid interstates, counting hawks and marveling at the beauty and diversity of small towns and countryside. More than anything, they loved being with family, especially spending time with Rachel, Sam and Mackenzie.

Renée was born June 23, 1958, in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She is survived by her husband Dave, children Rachel and Sam (Mackenzie Coulter-Kern), mother Doris Carpenter, brothers Joseph (Karen), Jon (Mary) and Neil (Beth) and many extended family members. She was preceded in death by her father Donald Eugene Fancher and James Carpenter.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Renée McFadden will be held June 24, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at the Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 Beckley Street, North Manchester, Indiana. The McFadden family will receive friends at the conclusion of the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the Community Foundation of Wabash County’s “Operation Change the Future” project. Gifts can be made online at or by mail to 220 East Main Street, North Manchester, IN 46962.

For those unable to attend, you may watch the service at

The family of Renée McFadden has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Renée Fancher McFadden, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 24, 2023

1:00 PM
Manchester Church of the Brethren
1306 N. Beckley
North Manchester, IN 46962

Memorial Gathering
June 24, 2023

2:00 PM
Manchester Church of the Brethren
1306 N. Beckley
North Manchester, IN 46962


Community Foundation of Wabash County's "Operation Change the Future" Project
220 East Main Street, North Manchester IN 46962


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