August 30, 1929
- August 29, 2017
JoAnn Runyon passed away in Salem, Oregon, on August 29, 2017. She was 87.
JoAnn was born on August 30, 1929 in Sandpoint, Idaho to Joseph and Myrtle Allen. After living in Sandpoint and then northern Montana, in 1943 the family moved to Omak, Washington. JoAnn graduated from Omak High School where she had many friends. She was honored to be chosen as a 1948 Omak Stampede Princess. JoAnn maintained strong bonds with her Omak friends throughout her life, visiting often.
JoAnn attended Washington State University where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. JoAnn remained a life-long committed Kappa and was involved in numerous sorority activities. After graduation from WSU, JoAnn pursued graduate studies in education at University of California, San Diego, and worked for a period as a teacher in Southern California. In 1958, JoAnn married Richard (Dick) Runyon, a psychiatric social worker. After a short period in California, the couple moved to Oregon, first in Medford and then Astoria, where Dick started a drug and alcohol treatment program. The family moved to Salem in 1966 where Dick worked for the State of Oregon, eventually becoming Assistant Director of the Mental Health Division.
The mother of four children, JoAnn enjoyed her rambunctious family and her home was a gathering place for neighbors and friends. Dedicated to making Salem more livable, JoAnn was a committed volunteer and activist who generously gave her time and talents to numerous causes. She was active in the League of Women Voters, involved in river-front development planning, and served as the Chair for the Advisory Committee to the Salem Housing Authority. After her husband’s untimely death in 1980, JoAnn continued her involvement in civic activities. In 1982, the City honored JoAnn with a Distinguished Service Award.
JoAnn is survived by her children, John, Steven, and M’Liss Runyon, and Laurie Pedlar. JoAnn is also survived by five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Memorial Services will be at 1:00 PM, Sunday, September at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, 605 Commercial St. SE, Salem, Oregon, 97301.
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