Alfred Rudolf “Fred” Nerz, Jr., died on November 26th, 2021 at IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was 81 years old.
Fred was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on October 11th, 1940. He was the president and valedictorian of his class at White Sulphur Springs High School, where he excelled on the varsity basketball and football teams.
Fred went on to West Virginia University, where he met his wife of 58 years, Virginia “Ginny” Nerz. He was president of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and a member of the first-ever WVU men’s soccer team.
After graduating in 1964 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Fred enrolled in the U.S. Navy. During naval flight training in Pensacola, Florida, he proposed to Ginny. She took her college final exams aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal. In the early years of their marriage, they traveled widely across Europe.
After his military service, Fred received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Fred’s two children, Tina and Ryan, were born during his doctoral studies.
After a stint at Shell Oil Company, Fred was hired by Cummins Engine Company. He settled in Columbus, Indiana, the city that would shape his life for almost five decades. He thought of Columbus as a unique blend of small town friendliness and world-class architecture, and the perfect place to raise a family.
In Columbus, Fred taught engineering classes at IUPUC for over ten years. He pursued a variety of interests, including beekeeping, banjo-playing, skiing and marathoning. He loved to spend time with family, including visiting relatives in Germany and researching the Nerz family history.
In 1993, Fred and Ginny opened That’s Pretty Personal, a gifts and embroidery business, in the Commons Mall. It then moved to Fair Oaks Mall, where it operated for over 20 years.
Fred retired from Cummins in 2003. He then worked as a consultant for Mack Trucks, serving as an expert witness for several successful lawsuits.
Fred was known to friends and family as a kind and knowledgeable man of integrity. He served as president for the Columbus chapter of SCORE, helping local entrepreneurs pursue their business dreams. He was passionate about the environment, composting and recycling fastidiously, while also installing 44 solar panels on the roof of his Forest Park home.
Fred is survived by his wife, Ginny, his brothers Joe and Mike Nerz, and his two children, Tina and Ryan Nerz. His three grandchildren, Claire, Nicole and Wyatt Ciserella, loved spending time with him and sharing a good laugh.
In keeping with the family’s request, cremation will take place and a memorial celebration of life service is being planned for a later date.
Online condolences and special memories may be shared with Fred’s family at barkesweaverglick.com.
Arrangements entrusted to Barkes, Weaver &Glick Funeral Home.