Lew and Billie Rentel were not students at NC State University, but that doesn’t mean they are not red and white for life. The Rentels, who met in Altoona, Pennsylvania and celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in 2014, moved to Cary and became acquainted with NC State through the efforts of their neighbor, Professor Robert Weisberg. They have been able to channel their interests in football, baseball, basketball and theatre by merely jumping into their car
for the quick trip to campus. Lew and Billie are avid Wolfpack fans and strong advocates for the Wolfpack Nation; Billie even sports her very own Mr. Wuf tattoo.
A retired executive from UPS, Lew began his career by working in a shoe factory, selling newspapers, operating a lift truck, toiling as a laborer, driving a truck for Royal Crown Cola, and honing his craft as an electrician until he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army for two years. Following his service to Uncle Sam, he started out as a driver with UPS, and as his supervisors spotted his work ethic, he was promoted through the ranks. Lew is proud of the many jobs he performed before he retired at the age of 55. Billie enrolled in the LPN program at the Kinston Community College after completing high school. She was fortunate to be able to remain at home to raise their four children and now enjoys spending as much time as she can with their four grandchildren.
Lew and Billie gifted a rental house in Wilmington to fund a charitable remainder unitrust with the NCSU Foundation that will pay them an income for their lifetimes and benefit them with a charitable income-tax deduction. When the trust terminates, the remainder will fund a significant gift to the Frank Thompson Building Endowment and to a Wolfpack Club scholarship. They also created another charitable trust with appreciated stock that will establish an endowment for companion animals at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Our financial planner expressed concern about the concentration of UPS stock I had accumulated and suggested we meet with Joan DeBruin, who was then the Director of Gift Planning at NC State. Joan partnered with our financial planner, and accountant, to discuss the benefits of the charitable remainder trust. Billie and I were astounded to learn that giving to charity is a win-win proposition. Through NC State we have saved thousands of dollars in taxes and increased our income. We don’t have to be dependent on our children to fund our lifestyle now that we have secured a dependable cash flow through our trust with NC State,” Lew said.
Through their generosity, the Rentels are providing vital funds to maintain the Frank Thompson Theatre where they have enjoyed numerous performances. Additionally, the student athletes who grace the athletic venues can thank this couple for the scholarships that allow them to compete on behalf of NC State. Recognizing that not everyone can afford to pay the out-of- pocket costs to treat their pets, the NC Veterinary Medical Foundation offers donors the option of creating their own endowment with the Companion Pet Assistance Fund. Lew and Billie are pleased that they have the ability to create their own named fund for their four-legged friends.