August 28th, 1935 - March 6, 2018
Dr. John Benton Runnels Jr. “Jack”, retired Neurosurgeon, Naval Reserve Captain and Weed resident until November 2017, died March 6, 2018 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Jack was born August 28th, 1935 in Lyons, Kansas. Jack was a graduate of Kansas University and the University of Kansas Medical School and completed neurosurgery residency at Stanford University.
Jack was a member and former President of Weed/Lake Shastina Kiwanis Club, served on COS’ Foundation Board of Directors, on the Board for the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, as a Mercy Hospice volunteer for 7 years, as a volunteer dishwasher for the Grange Free Meal Program and loved being a classroom reading mentor at Butte Elementary.
Jack lost his wife of 45 years, Judy, to cancer in 2003, but was fortunate to find love with Linda Sue Gerber, whom he married in Weed in 2005.
At 6’ 5” tall, Jack was a giant of a man, but a gentle and graceful giant with a fearsome intellect. He was much beloved by his family, colleagues, friends and particularly his patients, with whom he had an effortlessly calm and comforting bedside manner. He loved theatre (particularly Shakespeare), music, history, and reading and was a brilliant writer himself. He enjoyed following his children and grandchildren’s athletic and artistic endeavors and was a killer of a Scrabble player.
Jack cherished hiking in the breathtaking Siskiyou country and tending to his and Linda Sue’s beautiful garden at their home in Weed. As a Navy Vietnam Vet he was particularly proud of being involved with the stunning Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, and maintained a friendship with sculptor Dennis Smith until Alzheimer’s finally eclipsed his ability to communicate.
Jack is survived by his wife, Linda Sue, his sister, Diane Perett (Greg), son, John (Donna,) his daughters, Ruthie and Laura Fleming (Lou), as well as five grandsons, John, Michael, Warrick, Jack and Ray.
A remembrance reception will be held at City Park’s Lower Lodge at 3 pm April 19, 2018. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to "KU Endowment – Alzheimer’s Research": KU Endowment, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., MS 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160 (www.kuendowment.org/AlzheimerRsch) or Mercy Hospice-Mt. Shasta, 914 Pine St., Mt. Shasta, CA 96067.