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Leo E. Runkel

October 21, 1921 - November 13, 2008

Leo E. Runkel Sr., 87, of Springfield died at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, at Regency Nursing Care Residence.
He was born Oct. 31, 1921, in Springfield, the son of Carl and Gizzella Buckinger Runkel. He was a lifelong resident of Springfield. He married Nellie B. Williams on Jan. 18, 1947. She preceded him in death on Oct. 30, 1998. He also was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Frank Runkel; a grandson, Eddie Runkel; three brothers, Joe, Carl and Louis Runkel; and three sisters, Kathryn Radford, Agnes Runkel and Louise Atteberry.
Leo was a coal miner in his early years. Then he became a member of International Laborers Union Local 477, where he was a 54-year member. He also was a business representative for local 477 from 1967 to 1977. He retired from the state of Illinois in 1983 from the secretary of state’s office. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving during World War II with the 37th Division in the South Pacific from Feb. 1, 1943, to December 1945. He was in campaigns in the New Georgia group, Bougainville and Philippine Islands. He was awarded two bronze stars, a Good Conduct Medal and other ribbons for his service. Leo was a member of the American Legion in Divernon and Eagles Aerie 437. He enjoyed being outdoors and was an avid fisher and hunter.
Mr. Runkel is survived by a daughter, Cheryn L. (husband, Larry) Lawson of Springfield; three sons, Leo Butch Edward (wife, Diane) Runkel Jr. of Dawson, Carl Harold (wife, Jean Ann) Runkel of Springfield and Danny Lee (wife, Vicki) Runkel Sr. of Rochester. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and three sisters-in-law, Rose Williams and Judy Williams of Springfield and Vera Crawford of Dawson.
Visitation will be held on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Staab Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, at 10 a.m. at Staab Funeral Home with Sister Marilyn Jean Runkel, O.P., officiating. Interment will be held at Oak Ridge Cemetery, where military honors will be conducted by the Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society.

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