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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 2, 2014 - Volume 43 Issue 01
IN MEMORIAM - John Runyan
March 31, 1953 - December 26, 2014
Section One
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IN MEMORIAM - John Runyan
March 31, 1953 - December 26, 2014

Beloved brother and friend, John Leslie Runyan, passed while visiting his brother Bill's family in Martinez, California. He was strong and determined, generous and grateful to the end.

John was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the fourth child of seven, to Leslie and Betty Runyan. He was an intelligent and creative student, reading several years above his grade level. John won an essay contest in Madison that took him on a train trip to Washington, DC while a schoolboy. John moved with his family to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1969, where he enjoyed the supportive culture, and worked in restaurants in the City. He loved the Cliff House and Golden Gate Park.

He moved to Seattle in 1979, and became an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and celebrated 34 years of sobriety on July 14th, 2014. He took his sobriety seriously from early on, served as an AA sponsor, and helped others through detoxification.

John worked at the Seattle Gay News doing layout, and writing movie reviews and other articles. John also worked for a tile company, making commemorative tiles, and sandblasted his unique art on gifts. He became licensed in massage and had a business for 20 years. It was important to John to reach the workingman, who he felt needed a massage. He continued to study massage, integrating various techniques. See bodyworkman.com.

John loved to shop and loved to give. Sometimes he bought gifts, then kept them because he liked them so much. Often he didn't keep things for long, giving away his possessions because he thought they suited someone else more. He shared DVDs, CDs, and books with loved ones, shopping intently to find items that matched their interests. He was an avid foodie, enjoying local restaurants and cooking extensive meals. His home was an art gallery of local crafts and garage sale items. He was passionate about the arts, serving as a theater usher, attending concerts as often as possible in Seattle, and continually discovering new musicians. He could recite movie directors and other artists' accomplishments, and discuss the merits of their work. He loved to find photographs on the Internet and Photoshop them. As he grew sicker he spent his precious energy planning meals and cooking for others. At Thanksgiving he confessed an intense hatred of dish washing, which he overcame in his later years; this he confessed while others washed dishes from his gourmet Thanksgiving cooking.

John had quite a sense of humor.

Below are classic email quotes from him:

TURDUNKIN' (TURKEY STUFFED WITH HAM, DUCK AND DUNKIN' DONUTS): NOTHIN' SAYS LOVIN' LIKE TURDUNKIN' FROM THE OVEN

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!! WOWAKAZOWA...WAS SHOCKED TO FIND 2 EMAILS REFERENCING MOOSE, DEER AND COWS ON THE SAME DAY...OBVIOUSLY A SIGN OF THE COMING DEERMOOSEPALOOZA/COWMAGEDDON...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE SCARY MIND OF A BORED SEATTLEITE GETTING CLOSE TO HAVING A SENIOR MOMENT

MAY THE CANDY GODS SMILE ON YOU ALL

He is survived by siblings: Barbara (and John Cummings) of Australia, Bill (and Kim) Runyan and Jim (and Sondra) Runyan both of Martinez, California, and Star (and Robin Poe) of Anchorage, Alaska; and beloved nieces and nephews: Sara (and Kyle Young), Kylee, Michelle, Trevor, and Ben, and great niece, Addison Young. He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings Linda and Don (Chi) Runyan.

He will be missed.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: A get-together in memory of John Runyan will be organized in Seattle in the next couple of weeks. Please contact Rick at the Seattle Gay News (206-324-4297 or sgncopy@yahoo.com) if you would be interested in attending.]

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IN MEMORIAM - John Runyan
March 31, 1953 - December 26, 2014

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