Elmer Runge

Obituary of Elmer Runge

Elmer Edward Runge blessed the lives of Harvey and Ella (Kreoger) Runge 60 years ago as the second youngest of their ten children. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith. Elmer passed away peacefully with some family members near his bedside on November 8, 2020, at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Being raised on a farm north of Burlington fostered his incredible ability to use his common sense and the ability to focus and to complete tasks that needed to be done. His disabilities did not hamper what was physically expected of him and the sense of responsibility that was instilled in him. Part of his schooling while a Junior and Senior in high school was participating in a work program in the community coordinated through Dynamic Dimensions Incorporated in Burlington, Colorado. In 1980, he received his diploma from Burlington High School and worked in the community for a short time before going back to the farm to work. He lived on the farm with his father until his father’s death in 1997. In 1998, he moved to Sterling, Colorado and lived independently in a trailer home not far from his sister in her mobile home park. In 2015, he proudly moved into his own apartment. While living in Sterling, Eastern Colorado Services for the Developmentally Disabled provided support services for Elmer. Elmer had also received services from Steiner Sils, Light of the World, and April’s Angels. Goal setting was nurtured by his participation in Special Olympics for many years. The shot put and fast walking events were his favorites. Many ribbons and medals hang in his display case. Lending a hand to others came naturally to Elmer. Many appreciative recipients expressed their gratitude to Elmer as he voluntarily helped with the delivery of Meals on Wheels. Elmer saw Sterling as his home and worked many different jobs through the years. He felt a part of the community while working at Quality Equipment in Sterling, the Sinclair Gas Station in Atwood, and his latest and most beloved job of all at the Valero Gas Station in Sterling. The workers and owner were like family to him. During his youth and as an adult, Elmer loved to play board games, card games, watch TV and work jigsaw puzzles. Chinese checkers, Yahtzee, and Aggravation were a few of the board games he enjoyed playing. He played double solitaire and single solitaire once in a while. If the Broncos were playing, Elmer tried to watch every game. Elmer especially enjoyed and found challenging many jigsaw puzzles. He gained much joy and sometimes a little frustration when putting together the 1,000 – 3,000 piece puzzles. He always had one in the process of being put together especially when his younger sister moved to Sterling. At one time his closet was stacked so full of jigsaw puzzles, he donated 26 of them to the children in his sister’s third grade classroom. He had a wonderful sense of satisfaction of giving them to the children, and they were able to practice authentic letter writing in their best cursive to thank him for the puzzles. Elmer is survived by eight siblings. Judy Stover of Sterling, Colorado, Carol Morgan (Bill Morgan)of Vernon, Colorado, Ron Runge of Burlington, Colorado, Linda Morrow (Bob Morrow) of Bellvue, Colorado, Edna Fain of Huntsville, Texas, Norma Wilson (Ron Wilson) of St. Francis, Kansas, Alan Runge (Partner, Robert Dubray) of San Antonio, Texas, and Wanda Runge of Sterling, Colorado. He also has nephews, nieces, numerous cousins, and some important friends who are mourning his loss. Preceding him in death was his mother, Ella Runge (1972), his oldest sister, Darlene McBroom & her son, Ray McBroom (1973), his father, Harvey Runge (1997), brother-in-law, W.B. Stover (Smokey), brother-in-law, Charlie Fain, sister-in-law, Margaret Runge, all of his aunts and uncles, and Elmer’s very good fishing buddy and friend, Blaine. Elmer’s wishes were to be buried near his parents and next to his brother’s plot in Fairview Cemetery in Burlington, Colorado. A funeral service was held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Burlington, Colorado for his immediate family only on November 16, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Because of Covid 19, a celebration of life will be scheduled at a much later date in Sterling, Colorado for all who loved or knew him. In lieu of flowers, any memorial contribution checks may be made in Elmer Runge’s Memory to Dynamic Dimensions Incorporated in Burlington, Eastern Colorado Services for the Developmentally Disabled in Sterling, or Trinity Lutheran Church in Burlington. Contributions may be dropped off or mailed to Love Funeral Home, 377 15th Street, Burlington, CO 80807.
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