Renae Pickens, age 60 of Brentwood, TN, passed away on May 30, 2014. Diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2000, Renae considered herself very blessed to walk her cancer journey with the support of many wonderful friends.
A native Nashvillian, Renae attended The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and was a graduate of Vanderbilt University.
Renae worked as a TV reporter in Nashville in the late 1970's early 80's and later spent almost 30 years working for the State of Tennessee, first as the Department of Transportation's first female Communications Director and later serving in various positions in the Department of Health. Originally planning to pursue an acting career, Renae was seen during her early and teenage years in dozens of local community theater performances, including as an original cast member of I Hear America Singing at Opryland, USA. Later she acted in several professional theater productions, including one at the Alley Theater in Houston.
Renae is survived by two daughters, Ashley Renner, Chicago, IL and Vanessa Renner, Nashville, TN. She is also survived by Edwin Y. Milam, Nashville, TN, who she described as her spiritual soul mate, best friend, and the love of her life.
Renae is preceded in death by her mother, Joan Owen Pickens, her father Frank W. Pickens Jr., a brother, Frank W. Pickens III, and grandparents, Pearl & John Owen and Georgia Mae & Frank Pickens.
No visitation with the family is planned, but memorial donations may be given to Gilda's Club Nashville, 1707 Division Street, Nashville, TN 37203; and the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center, PO Box 120633, Nashville, TN 37212.
Renae wanted to be cremated and her family has chosen not to hold a Memorial service at this time. They want, however, to thank all Renae's friends who she said taught her to love, hug, and appreciate every day the people who show us they care and touch our hearts.
Published in The Tennessean on June 1, 2014