Merle Runge, age 76, of Glenwood, MN, passed away surrounded by family Thursday, June 10, 2021 at Glacial Ridge Hospital. A memorial service for Merle will be held at a later date.
Merle Lloyd Runge was born October 4, 1944 in Eagle Bend, Minnesota. He was one of two children born to Earl Boher and Bernice (Johnson) Boher. Sadly, Earl Boher lost his life in World War II. Bernice later married Cliff Runge who then adopted Merle and his brother Jerry. They then gained 5 more siblings. Merle was raised in Rockford, Illinois. He was united in marriage to Shirley Rost, the love of his life, on January 19, 1961 in Rockford. The two first made their home in Rockford and it was there that they started their family. Merle entered the United States Army on February 28, 1963. He served his country and was honorably discharged March 25, 1964. After his discharge, Merle and Shirley continued to live in Rockford until the early 1970’s when they moved to the Alexandria, Minnesota area. After arriving in Minnesota, the family continued to grow, to include three girls and three boys: Dawn, Jody, Neil, Teresa, Darcy and Jeff. Merle and Shirley retired in their home on Pelican Lake in Glenwood where Merle wanted to spend his retirement fishing and living on the lake.
Merle was employed by the Local 539 Pipefitters Union as a steamfitter for 46 years and received several awards. He was a member of the Glenwood American Legion and enjoyed woodworking, fishing, gardening, cooking, and was a master griller. He was known for his stellar caramel dumplings and cream puffs. He will be remembered for his craftsmanship, beautiful woodworking and extensive knowledge of gardening and welding. In March of this year Merle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He passed away much too soon on June 10, 2021 at the Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood.
Merle is survived by his beautiful and devoted wife of 60 years, Shirley; their six children: Dawn Blair of Andover, Jody Runge of Villard, Neil (Dana) Runge of Alexandria, Teresa (Dale) Thoennes of Brandon, Darcy (Michele Herz) Runge of Woodstock, GA, and Jeffrey Sr. (April) Runge of Glenwood; grandchildren: Ryan Lanes, Rachel (Caleb) Turner, Whitney Lanes, Darian Garbett, Trent (Holly) Thoennes, Brett Thoennes, Amanda (Fiance' Nick) Thoennes, Jeffrey Runge Jr., Noel Runge, Jacque Runge and Renee Runge; great-grandchildren: Matthew, Mason, Preston, Payton, Naomi, Parker, Aikley, Cooper, Adeline, Dakota, Dawson, Melissa, Jaxon and Peyton; sister, Debra (Dick) Shouler, brothers, Jerry (Carol) Runge of Rockford, IL and Brad (Nancy) Runge of Alexandria; sisters-in-law, Karen and Carol Runge; brother-in-law, Randy Kneprath; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Randy and James Runge; sister, Bonnie Kneprath; grandsons, Leighton and Payton Thoennes; and a nephew, Scott Runge.
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