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Thomas "Tom" Runningen

Thomas "Tom" Runningen

Thomas "Tom" Runningen, 71, of Bemidji, MN died Monday, January 1, 2018 at Neilson Place, Bemidji.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, January 6, 2018 at First Lutheran Church with Pastor Corey Fuhrman officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, January 5, 2018 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Tom was born on March 20, 1946 in La Crosse, WI, the son of Glenn and Harriet (Schild) Runningen. He graduated from Houston High School in Houston, MN in 1964 and graduated from BSU in Bemidji, MN in 1973 with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration. After graduation Tom worked for one year at Miller, McDonald CPA Firm, seventeen years at Paul Bunyan Telephone and eighteen years at Hanson Electric, retiring in December 2017. Tom served two years with the US Navy. One year was served off the coast of Vietnam on the communication ship USS Arlington as a Radioman and one year was served in Coronado, CA. In 1966 he married Sandra Lee Otis in 1966. They later divorced in 1983. The couple had four children. Tom's greatest passion in life was golf. He also enjoyed doing his daily Sudoku's and watching the Twins, Wild and Vikings. He was a loving and caring father and grandfather who cherished spending time with his special friend, Pat, his children and grandchildren. People were naturally drawn to Tom's kind heart, generosity, and unique sense of humor. Tom was the Mayor of Castle Highlands, the Chairman of the Counter at Country Kitchen and President of the Neilson Place Visitors.

He is survived by his special friend Patricia Welte, sons, Mark Runningen of Bemidji, Eric (Kimberly) Runningen of Northfield, Karl (Ali) Runningen of Bemidji and daughter, Sara (Travis) Peters of Onalaska, WI. Tom is also survived by his brother, Tim (Becky) Runningen of Hokah, MN, sister, Joan (Dave) Anderson of Houston, MN, 8 grandchildren, Thom (Brooke) Runningen, Paige Kahoun, Geoffrey Runningen, Erin Runningen, Drake Peters, Annika Reed, Adeline Runningen and Markus Runningen, two aunts Bernice Otto and Doris Runningen, favorite cousin Patty Senn and six nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Harriet Runningen, brother, Paul Runningen, paternal and maternal grandparents, and brother-in-law, Warren Munson.

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