Renee McDermott

Published 11:19 am Monday, March 13, 2023

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Tryon– Renee McDermott (72) of Tryon, North Carolina died on March 11, 2023.

She was raised and educated in Tampa, Florida. An honors graduate of the Indiana University School of Law (Bloomington), she also served as the editor-in-chief of the Indiana Law Journal.

Following a judicial clerkship, she spent most of her career as a partner practicing environmental law with the Indianapolis office of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg.

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Active in a number of legal organizations, Renee held positions as a member of the Council and chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, as a member of the Board of Governors of the Indiana State Bar Association and as President and member of the Board of Directors of the Indiana State Bar Foundation.

Renee moved to Tryon in 1999. Here she has served as a Polk County Commissioner and Chair of the Polk County Board of Elections. Active in local environmental affairs, she held positions as President and a Pacolet Area Conservancy board member. These and other community involvements led to her election to the Second Wind Hall of Fame.

She is survived by Jim McDermott, her husband, and former law partner, and by Melora McDermott and Melissa McDermott Lane, her two stepdaughters. In her husband’s words, Renee was a strong, intelligent, generous woman and a loving and loved wife.

There will be no public funeral, memorial service, or visitation. In lieu of flowers, it would have been Renee’s hope that those wishing to make memorial contributions consider Conserving Carolina or Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory
Tryon, NC