The Port Arthur News
John Braxton Runyan was called to join the Lord on January 08, 2013, at 88. He was born in Macon, Georgia on July 09, 1924. He has been reunited with joy and tears in the Streets of Gold with Gerry (Gerldine), his spouse of 66 years. He is survived by two sons; Jack and Craig, a daughter; Rebecca, 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
John was World War II Veteran and survivor of invasion of Iwo Jima. He was a Navy Corpsman (Medic) attached to the 4th Marine Division, landing on the beach during the 1st assault wave. He met Gerry at end of the war at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina as both were being separated from military service. She had been in the Marine Corps all female Drum and Bugle Corps, based in Paris Island, South Carolina. Following the war they lived in Gerry’s native region of upstate New York State, where all three of their children were born.
In 1963, the family moved to Port Arthur, Texas, to reunite with John's estranged childhood family, the Hurds. John and Gerry owned and operated Runyan’s Texaco Service Station in Port Arthur. In addition he worked for and retired from Texaco Marine Division. He and Gerry resided in Port Arthur for over 30 years. After retirement they crisscrossed the United States in their treasured ‘fifth-wheel’ RV home.
John and Gerry eventually settled into the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veteran’s Home in El Paso, Texas, just across the New Mexico border from Craig's family, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. It was there they spent their final days together quietly, peacefully and with gratitude until their passing. They were honored daily for their service to our country and made many friends. Gerry preceded him into the arms of the Lord in October, 2011.
John and Gerry together were decorated veterans and American patriots.
They were preceded in death by several family members who also served. John's birth father, David Hurd and two brothers David Jr. and Ronald Hurd all served proudly in the U.S. military.
John will surely be missed, but his legacy already lives on with two generations of veterans behind him. Certainly the Angels are rejoicing for the arrival of Heaven’s newest tenant.
The family will be holding a military memorial service for John at the Spring Creek Church of Christ in Tomball, Texas February 23 at 4:00. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to:
Texas State Veterans Home
El Paso, TX 79924
Attention: Susan Culp
Re: John Runyan Memorial