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Michael L. Runyan
LT Michael L. Runyan

NEWARK, OH – 1LT Michael L. Runyan, 24, of Newark, Ohio, died Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Balad, Iraq while serving in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 52nd Infantry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

He was born on November 29, 1985 in the town of Ashland, Ohio, to Jeff and Renee (Rebera) Runyan. He graduated from Ashland High School in 2004 where he was a qualifier for the State Golf Tournament his junior year. He participated in the Army ROTC program at Xavier University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 2008.
While at Xavier, he was a member of the Society of Pershing Rifles and participated in Ranger Challenge, serving as Captain of the team his senior year. He also participated in intramural sand volleyball, a championship softball team, and was in the Xavier musical his senior year.

Michael loved golfing, tennis, exploring the outdoors, and most of all, his family and friends. Michael had the God-given gift of a smile that lit up the entire room. He touched everyone he met with his charm and grace.

He is survived by his parents, Jeff and Renee of Newark, Ohio; sister and brother-in-law Lesley and Matthew Hess of Beavercreek, Ohio; brother and sister-in-law Alex and Brittany (Eilenfeld) of Oceanside, California; fiancé Shaina Cales of Ripley Ohio; and other loving family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Emmie and Anthony Rebera and Margaret E. and William O. Runyan.

Calling hours will be held from 10 AM to 12 Noon on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at the GaREAT Complex, 1822 S. Broadway, Geneva, OH 44041 with a service to follow starting at 1 PM. Dr. Richard R. Boyer, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Southampton, NY will officiate.
A private family burial will be in Greenlawn Memory Gardens, 3140 East Center Street, N. Kingsville, OH 44068. Supporters may witness the procession to the cemetery on Sunday, August 1, 2010 between the hours of 9 and 10 AM on SR 20 from Station Avenue in Ashtabula up to the entrance of the cemetery at Greenlawn. Admission to the cemetery during the burial service will be strictly limited to members within the funeral procession.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family in lieu of flowers as donations made out to The Michael L. Runyan Memorial Fund through the Park National Bank, 1633 West Main Street, Newark, OH 43055. This fund will benefit three separate entities: distinguishable members of the Xavier Army ROTC program, members of Project Odyssey in association with the Wounded Warrior Project (an outdoor rehabilitative retreat that combines adventure challenges with opportunities for peer support and group processing), and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
In addition, the family invites you to post a personal memory of Michael on the Facebook memorial group titled, "In Loving Memory of Michael Louis Runyan".
DUCRO FUNERAL SERVICES AND CREMATORY, 4524 Elm Avenue, Ashtabula, OH 44004 is in charge of arrangements.

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Obitituaries dated before July 16, 2009 are located here.