Arthur James Runestrand, beloved husband of Meredith Runestrand, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, entered into the presence and glory of the Lord on September 19, 2017. Born August 8th, 1927 in Bellingham WA to Andrew and Mary Runestrand. Our father grew up with his older sister, Carmen, in a loving, open home that welcomed and housed many friends and family. From a young age dad prayed for a large and loving family of his own. A prayer that God answered beyond our father’s imagination.
After honorable service in the US Navy at the conclusion of WW II, our father attended Western Washington State College on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in Education. It was on Western's campus that dad first set eyes on our beautiful mother, Meredith Hess. Dad said it was “love at first sight” and he courted her with fervor. Romance and love ensued and they were married in 1949. Our father also attended the University of Washington and earned his Master’s in Business.
Dad obtained employment with the Bellingham School District as a teacher and taught at both Fairhaven and Shuksan Middle Schools. Dad made lifelong friends of both fellow teachers and students and he would call this his favorite career. After serving also as vice-principal, dad left teaching to become a safety instructor at Georgia Pacific. Dad was later promoted to Personnel Manager, a position he held until his retirement.
Upon retirement, our father continued to serve his community on many boards and service organizations. His was a life of service. His greatest joy was his wife and his family. He taught us by words and deeds how to live, love and serve. We would very often sing together as a family. One of dad’s favorites was The Doxology, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” Dad believed this with all his heart.
Arthur Runestrand is preceded in death by his daughter-in-law Janice Kay Runestrand & his grandson Joseph Paul Nuckolls. He is survived by wife Meredith, children: Mike & Rachel Runestrand, Mary & Russ Nuckolls, Elizabeth & Doug Adelstein, Kathy & Eric Anderson, Kris & Sally Runestrand, and Heidi & Mark Lann, and by Randy & Barb Kruger, whom dad loved and claimed as his own. Dad is also survived by forty-three grandchildren, twenty-nine great grandchildren, and two nephews, Jim & John Barriball.
Memorial Service will be held on Saturday September 30th at 3:00pm at Immanuel Bible Church, 2000 W North Street, Bellingham WA.