Hannah Elizabeth Fernung, 21, died tragically in a senseless car accident Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Fishers.
“On a seemingly ordinary day, a young life ended. There is nothing ordinary anymore. If only momentarily, the world stopped for everyone who knew her. The sun stopped shining ever-so-briefly, and her family is left with a hole in their hearts.”
Hannah Fernung came into this world May 24, 1992, the daughter of Mary Frances (McCormack) and Stephen J. Fernung. She was sister to Jacinta, Kegan, Conlan, Stephen, Brigid and Colleen, all of Elwood. Her grandparents are Pat and Gene McCormack, Tipton, and Marlene and Lester Fernung, Elwood. Hannah was also blessed with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins who feel her loss deeply and will honor her life with loving memories. That tells you her birth notes, but doesn’t paint the full picture of who Hannah was.
“There aren’t enough words to do her life justice, but words are what we have.”
After graduating in 2010 from home schooling, Hannah began studying communications at Ivy Tech State College in Kokomo and working at Chili’s Restaurant in Noblesville, as well as helping care for and mentoring her “brothers and sisters” in the Whitten family in Noblesville. Her work allowed her the opportunity not only to help pay for her education, but make friends among her coworkers. Being nanny to nine children who belong to her “second family,” allowed Hannah to touch young lives that will forever bear her heart print. Her classes at Ivy Tech were bringing her closer to realizing her dream of becoming a journalist with the hope of working for National Geographic as a photo journalist someday.
Her Irish heritage was a big part of who Hannah was. She loved Irish step dancing and dedicated her senior dance to her Irish grandpa ... the beloved patriarch of the McCormack Clan in Tipton. In 2010, Hannah worked diligently to raise funds so she could take a trip to Ireland and put her feet on that green, green grass. The call to travel set in and by summer 2012, she took a trip to Thailand … she knew she was meant to travel and see the world. Her vibrant personality, coupled with her willingness to take risks (“life is too short to color in the lines”) led Hannah down some very interesting roads.
It must be said, Hannah did everything with enthusiasm, style and a desire to bring everyone else along for the ride. She was convinced that “you’ll never know if you don’t try,” and that attitude was what attracted people to her. She didn’t judge others; she simply opened up to everyone and every opportunity knowing “it’s all gravy, Baby.” If things got tough for someone, Hannah would let you know, “It’s all good, I got this.”
When Hannah walked in, the Son came out - really. She had within her a spirit Light that illuminated the space around her. Through her smile, she put others at ease and allowed them to be seen and heard. She touched not only with her hands, but with her heart. Perhaps Mother Teresa was speaking of Hannah when she said, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Hannah loved and was loved. She let her light shine, and that is her legacy.
Hannah was preceded in death by her great-grandparents, Carl and Rosella Fernung, Walter and Ruby Manis, Mary Esther Jacob and John and Margaret McCormack.
A funeral Mass will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at her home church, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Tipton, with the Rev. Christopher Shocklee presiding. A public Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist School Gymnasium in Tipton; and public visitation will continue there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the funeral Mass. Burial will take place in St. Joseph Cemetery in Elwood at a later date.
Arrangements are entrusted to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood. Online condolences may be made at copherfeslermay.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Irish Life Experience through https://www.youcaring.com/inmemoryofhannahfernung. “This is Hannah’s way of ‘paying it forward.’”