Charles Runyan

October 15, 1933 ~ June 26, 2013 (age 79)
Charles Edward Runyan, 79 of Batesville passed away Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at his home. He was born October 15, 1933 in Batesville to parents, Ed and Gladys Sanders Runyan.

He worked from the age of 14 or 15 as a caddy for the Batesville Country Club until obtaining work for Wilbur Ferguson at the Clinic Drug Store delivering medicine by bicycle. In 1952 he married Betty June Stringfellow of Calico Rock. At the time they met she was living in Batesville near her family and he went to work for his father in law, William "Bill" Stringfellow at his post yard.

Charles took his spouse and son Eddie to Lawrence, KS in the early 50's and went to work for Sun Flowers Ordinance Plant, at age 19 he was the youngest foreman there. The plant was considered a powder plant making dynamite and other ammunition powder.

Later in the early 50's, Charles took a job in the restaurant business with Toddle House & Dobbs Restaurants in Memphis, TN, where Elvis Presley frequently ate after his evening shows. He later returned to his home in Batesville where he and his brother Bill Runyan were owner operators of the Imperial Restaurant on lower Main Street.

Charles ventured into the insurance business as most of us know him, he was a debit agent with Reliable Insurance in the late 50's and in 1962 he became an agent for State Farm Insurance. Charles was a member of the City Council for two terms and instrumental in the construction of the Golden Overpass, he was also a member of the Volunteer Fire Department. He was very active with the Democratic Central Committee, JC's and was a Scottish Rite Mason (32nd degree), member of Valley of Little Rock. He served as the Past Master of Mt. Zion Lodge #10 in 1986. During his later years with State Farm Insurance, he lost his wife Betty. In 1995 he remarried Carol Sharum. He was also a member of the Weavers Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.

From the late 1970's until the middle 1990's you would find Charles with his grandson Aaron & other family and friends at Heber Springs lake. He was an avid skier and very much enjoyed his time on the lake camping and relaxing on the water.

In 1995 he retired, purchased a motor home and traveled as long as his health allowed. He has since enjoyed his home and his family.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife Betty.

Survivors include his wife of eighteen years, Carol Runyan of the home; one son, Eddie Runyan of Batesville; one stepdaughter, Ellie Thompson and her husband Lynn of Southside; two brothers, J.W. Runyan of Pangburn and Bill Runyan of Forrest City; one sister, Lou Rooks of Batesville; one grandson, Aaron Runyan and his wife Dena of Batesville; one step granddaughter, Amy Levasseur of Cincinnati, OH; one great grandson, Blaine Runyan of Batesville; three step great grandsons, Austin Runyan of Batesville, Matthew Maynard and Bryan Maynard both of Cincinnati, OH; one great granddaughter, Macie Runyan of Batesville; one step great granddaughter, Allison Maynard of Cincinnati, OH and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M., Saturday, June 29, 2013 at the Willis Funeral Service Chapel with Orville Berg and Doc Spurlin officiating. Interment with Masonic rites will follow in the Oaklawn Cemetery at Batesville. Pallbearers are Lynn Thompson, Neal Ballard, A.C. Bell, Jay Dwight Runyan, Robert Brokaw and Aaron Runyan. Honorary Pallbearers are Dr. Greg Neaville, Dr. Jay Jeffery, Roger Brown and Ricky Tate.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Weavers Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, % Robin Tate, 1085 Pfeiffer Rd. Batesville, AR 72501or the charity of your choice.

Cemetery Details

Oaklawn Cemetery

Batesville, AR,


JUN 28. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Willis Funeral Service

3513 Harrison Street

Batesville, AR, US, 72501

[email protected]


JUN 29. 10:00 AM

Willis Funeral Service

3513 Harrison Street

Batesville, AR, US, 72501

[email protected]

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