Robert Runnells was born in Lovilia, Iowa on April 5, 1922, the son of Walter Roy and Ruth (Williams) Runnells. He attended rural schools and graduated from Harvey High School in 1940. He was the last surviving member of his class. He was a member of Co. “A” 316th Engineers Battalion in the 91st Division, Fifth U.S. Army and served from November 5, 1942 and discharged November 5, 1945. He spent two years in the European Theatre.
Robert married Virginia Harrington September 26, 1945, in the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They were blessed with one daughter, Diana.
Robert worked at various jobs and retired from the V.A. Hospital, Knoxville, Iowa after working thirty-four years. Robert and Virginia liked to travel and spent many summers vacationing in several states. They also traveled to Europe and Hawaii. In addition to traveling they enjoyed dancing, going several places and meeting lots of nice people. They spent fifteen winters in Mission, Texas. He also liked cars and guitars. He was a member of the American Legion and the V.F.W.
Robert passed away March 19, 2021 at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics at the age of 98 years, 11 months, and 14 days. He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, his parents, and grandparents. Those left to cherish his memory include his daughter, Diana (Don) Widga of Polk, Nebraska, cousins and many friends.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. at the Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville. Visitation will begin at 10:00 A.M. with Robert’s family present to greet friends and relatives. Burial services with military honors will follow at Graceland Cemetery. Following services, a luncheon will be held at the Winfield Funeral Home.
Memorials may be given in Robert’s memory to the First United Methodist Church in Knoxville.