John Parker Runyon died February 16, 2013, at the Horace Nye Home in Elizabethtown, New York. He was born September 8, 1922, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Margaret Ellinger Runyon and Howard Judson Runyon, Jr.
He grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, graduated from the Middlesex School, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology. While at Stevens he was inducted into the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. Upon graduating, in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was posted to the Pacific and served until the war's end as a lieutenant, junior grade, on the U.S.S. Reed Victory.
He married Honor Case, of Morristown, New Jersey, in 1947. The couple honeymooned in the Adirondacks and moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where John spent three years earning an advanced diploma in mathematics at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ("ETH"), the Swiss federal technical institute. Upon the couple's return to the U.S., in 1950, he joined Bell Telephone Laboratories. He stayed at Bell Labs for more than 20 years and retired as head of the Transmission and Switching department. He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
An avid racing and cruising sailor for most of his life, he was a member and master of the Corinthians and a member and commodore of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club. He sang in the Masterwork Chorus, in Morristown, New Jersey; the Shrewsbury Chorale, in Shrewsbury, New Jersey; and the Bamboo Butlers, a barbershop group based in Rumson, New Jersey.
The Runyons moved to Keene Valley, New York, in 1990. There John served on the board of the Keene Valley Library, sang in the choir at the Keene Valley Congregational Church, and played tuba in a mixed school/community brass band.
Honor Case Runyon died in 2008. John is survived by the couple's five children (Anne R. Hurd, of Keene Valley, New York; Peter B. Runyon, of Marietta, Georgia; Polly Runyon Wittrock, of New York, New York; Howard C. Runyon, of Lake Placid, New York; and Charles B. Runyon, of Wilmington, New York) and eight grandchildren.