August 4, 1933 ~ April 10, 2023
St. Peter, Illinois
Resided in: College Station, Texas
Edward C. A. Runge was born August 4, 1933, in St. Peter, Illinois. Proceeded to heaven by his parents Edward F. and Bertha (Grandt) Runge and 5 brothers. He married Patricia Rice on September 2, 1956, in Ellis, Illinois. Daughter Kimberly Leigh (Runge) Overton was born on December 8, 1959, and Son Jeffrey Scott Runge was born on May 14, 1963, Both in Ames, Iowa.
Ed received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree and Master’s Degree at University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois. He received a PhD from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. While in School he worked as a research Associate and Assistant Professor from 1959 – 1963.
Ed worked at the University of Illinois from 1963 – 1973 as an Extension and Researcher/Teacher in the Agronomy Department where he worked with the County Agents (Extension Farm Advisors). He also taught “Soils of Illinois” while there from a probe truck which supported his extension work. In 1966 he was selected to teach “Agronomy 306 Intermediate Soil Science” and increased his advising to MS and PhD students. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1967 and to Professor in 1973. His work alongside Neil Smeck on organic matter and phosphorus movement was cutting edge.
During this time Ed and Pat wanted to expose their children Kim and Jeff to as much of the United States as they could. A 1963 station wagon did the trick, once it was outfitted with storage for the tent and all the belongings they needed. They traveled as a family to almost all 50 states.
In 1968 Ed ventured into the world of International Soil Science by attending meetings in Australia. On the way he signed up for soil field trips in Hawaii, the South Island of New Zealand, and Australia. These field trips validated the research he started with Neil Smeck. The field trips lead to a Fellowship from Lincoln College on the South Island of New Zealand from 1970 – 1971. This adventure included the entire family and many extended family members that visited. As a family they traveled the entire country of New Zealand both the north and south islands every spare moment they had. This led to a love of travel by the entire family over generations.
Ed took a job at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 1973 – 1980. He took the position of Chair of the Agronomy Department. While at Missouri he became a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy in 1977. He was also made a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science. He continued to mentor and advise MS and PhD Students. Teaching never left his DNA.
He worked diligently on grant funding for numerous projects dealing with corn yields from moisture and weather data. This successful program led to an appointment for 3 plus months in 1976 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The family was able to tag along with schoolbooks and all.
In 1980 – 1999 he moved to Texas A&M University. Where he became the head of the Soil and Crop Sciences Department. This move involved Ed, Pat and Jeff since Kim was already away at College at Iowa State University. So much happened in Texas. He became involved with many projects all around the world and this led to him bringing Norman Borlaug to the University as a Nobel Laureate. Dr. Borlaug was able to teach about the responsibilities of plant pathology. As luck would have it, Ed and Pat became fast friends with Norman and Margaret Borlaug. The World Food Prize was established by Dr. Borlaug in Des Moines, Iowa and Ed served on the board and selection committee for years. He then worked with 8 UAP (United Ag Products) students from South America for a year and then moved on to mentor 89 Monsanto Beachel Borlaug Students from all around the world.
A project he was very passionate about was Project 101 “Old Soldier” in Burma (now Myanmar) from 1996 – 2009. This project recognized the soldiers that served behind Japanese lines during World War II. The project was a pay-back from the soldiers for all the effort provided by the Kachin and Shan soldiers. They started a corn improvement project by importing seed and fertilizer from Thailand. On one such trip Ed had to travel into Myanmar undercover as a minister of faith.
He stepped down as department head in 1999, but continued working with the students. Teaching and mentoring his students, children and extended family was always a natural response for Ed. Something he had a true penchant for. True retirement finally happened for Ed in 2023.
Ed was a man of many talents. He loved immersing himself into culture and learning about people. No matter where he went, if you couldn’t find him, he was probably trying to fix that loose screw someone forgot about. Ed was a constant and committed husband, father, grandpa (Pop pop), and teacher. You could always feel how much he truly cared. His genuine affection and passion were usually followed by his classic outburst “oh bull roar” and you knew you had his utmost attention.
Above all else you always knew how much Ed loved Pat. Everything he ever did down to his last days was for her. To his core, Ed valued his family and always stayed dedicated to Pat and the life they had built together.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years Pat, daughter Kimberly Overton, son Jeff and daughter in law Michelle, 5 grandchildren (Rayce, Royce, Anny, Ry and Laramy) and 7 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts in memory of Ed Runge be sent to the scholarship fund started by Ed and Pat many years ago at the Texas A&M Foundation or to Hospice Brazos Valley of which they helped establish and supported for decades.
Texas A&M Foundation
Ed and Pat Runge Scholarship
401 George Bush Drive
College Station, TX 77840
Hospice Brazos Valley
502 West 26th Street
Bryan, TX 77803
Livestream for the service will be available at this link: http://tx.ag/EdRunge
Visitation: April 22, 2023 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Peace Lutheran Church
2201 Rio grande Blvd
College Station, Texas 77845
Celebration of Life Tribute: April 22, 2023 11:00 am
Peace Lutheran Church
2201 Rio grande Blvd
College Station, Texas 77845
Reception: April 22, 2023 12:00 pm
Peace Lutheran Church
2201 Rio grande Blvd
College Station, Texas 77845
Farewell Dr Runge our friend and mentor your legacy lives long through all of us your UAP students with Love….
Dr. Runge you will be always in our hearts – thank you for bringing the best in us, always.
Your kindness and dedication will forever inspire us, as well as your passion for people and food production around the globe. I can’t thank God enough for the chance to meet you, Pat and Ed opened their home and their lives to welcome us in Texas back in 1999.
Pat and Ed were always in touch, at least once an year, for the last 24 years. Your “Happy Holidays letter” was highly expected, as a warm reminder that years go by but friends should never be forgotten.
All love to Pat, family and friends.
Thank you very much Ed.
It is so difficult to say goodbye to a friend, to such a dear person. Thank you Ed for all the love you and Pat have always had for us (UAP students), since the day we met, in January 1999.
Every December, since 2000, we have been waiting for your email in which you told us how you were, your family, and all the trips and jobs you had done during the year. Always attentive and remembering my family.
Rest in peace dear Ed.
You will always be in our hearts…
My deepest condolences to Pat, family and friends…
Dear Mrs. Runge,
I’m sorry to hear about Dr. Runge’s passing. Us UAP students loved him and appreciate all he did for us and how he always kept in touch. He will always be remembered. I send you my condolensces and a hug to warm your heart. You are very special to us.
Veronica, from Guatemala
I am very disheartened to hear this sad news. Dr. Runge was a great mentor and very close to all scholars (MBBIS)- we will miss you, Ed.
My sincere and deepest condolence! May the departed soul rest in peace. May Almighty strengthen Pat and her family.
Our deepest condolences to Pat, her family and friends. May you feel peace and comfort from one another.
This is very heartbreking news. I am very disheartened to hear this. Dr. Runge was a great personality and very close to all the MBBISP scholars. My sincere and deepest condolence! May the departed soul rest in peace. May Almighty strengthen Pat and her family.
We will miss you, Ed.
Rest in peace Dr. Ed. You positively impacted the lives of many of us and generations to come through MBBIS program. My sincere condolence to Pat and the entire family.
So devastating to learn that you’ve since left us Dr Ed Runge, till we meet again…
You mentored us, you nurtured us, you encouraged us, and you kept in touch with us – we- the ‘Monsanto Beachel Borlaug International Scholarship’ (MBBIS) fellows. In 2009, I met you for the first time, together with colleagues in cohort 1 of MBBIS, and since you remained a father. Forever I shall remember you and all our interactions.
My heartfelt condolences to Pat, family and friends.
May you rest peace Dr. Runge. Your legacy will be long lasting. Thank you for inspiring us in your life-long commitment to agriculture. Honored to have met you. My prayers to your family and friends.
Dr. Runge, you are truly a great mentor and an inspiring legend! May you rest in eternal peace. Heartfelt condolences to family and friends.
I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Ed, who was a great mentor and leader to all of us at the MBBIS program. I will always remember the kindness and compassion Ed and Pat showed us when they hosted us those two years in Des Moines, and I wish Pat and the rest of Ed’s family the strength to see them through this loss.
Your contributions to agriculture research has been far reaching and profound, Ed. Please rest in peace knowing you have left behind a great legacy through your leadership that will benefit a great many people.
I am deeply saddened after listening to his departed soul, and it was a shock for me. He was a great mentor and I am really thankful and grateful to him. I was blessed to have him during my wedding. He will always be in my heart.
Rest in Piece.
I met Ed through MBBIS program. Ed was one of the most kind and compassionate people I came across. He interacted with every single MBBI scholar, putting all of us at ease. One could count on his holiday letter and him keeping in touch throughout the year. He always responded positively to all my varied requests. He was a mentor, a friend and a grandfather rolled into one
You are missed deeply.
My prayers and thoughts are with Pat ( who he loved immensely) and their family.
Pat, Kim and Jeff I am so very sorry for the loss of you husband and father.
Take time to remember and reflect all the memories you all made. Love y’all!
Ed will be a hard act to follow and sadly missed by all who knew him.
Rest in peace Ed after a life well lived and a mission fully accomplished with love and kindness.
Alistair and I always thoroughly enjoyed all the times we spent with Ed, Pat and the extended family, after first meeting at Lincoln College / University in 1970. We always looked forward to our annual Christmas communications and had a wonderful time when we visited Texas.
I extend my deepest sympathy to Pat, Kim, Jeff and all the family in your sad loss, but I know that the family will remain strong and together carry on Ed’s legacy.
I am really sorry to hear about the loss of Ed. Pat, Kim and Jeff my heart goes out to you. Please know that you are not alone and that there are so many people who care about you and loved Ed as he always hold a special place in our heart.
Sending you love and strength during this difficult time.
Dr. Runge, how difficult to say goodbye to someone who always wanted to be there.
How wonderful it was to find so far away, feelings so close and familiar. I will be forever grateful for everything you and Pat did for us, welcoming us into your home and into your lives, supporting us not only to achieve our goals but to enjoy the whole process to the fullest, like a father with his kid…Always with a smile, always with a word of support, always trusting us, always thinking about what else to do for us… without expecting anything in return.
Rest in peace dear Ed.
My sincere and deepest condolence, Pat.
Ana María Prado, from Chile
There are no words to describe what a wonderful person Dr.Ed was. Always with a welcoming, comforting and inspiring words. Dr. Ed was very important in some phases of my professional life, always encouraging and teaching me so much.
I’m sure he changed the lives of many MBBIS and we know how much of his life he dedicated to students.
I am very saddened by his passing, but
I feel blessed by the opportunity to have met him.
To Pat and family my deepest condolences. May God comfort you during these sad days.
Dear Pat, a fraternal hug, with all my affection.
I am praying for you and your family.
Dear Ed, rest in peace.
I and my family will miss Ed so much! It was a delight to spend time together through the years. Lots of special family gatherings. Ed became almost like a second father to us when my dad passed away. He was always so kind and thoughtful. We loved him so much and he loved us so well. No one can replace him in our hearts. We will love him forever.
Ed, you were the most supportive mentor I have ever met. You were my father figure too. I miss you. You will always be in my heart. Much love.
I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort with your family and friends.
I’m so sorry for the family’s loss. Dr. Runge impacted my life by being a great mentor and supporter of me through my career from MBBISP onwards. I will always remember him as a great cheerleader of his flock of scholars, and how warm and welcoming him and Pat were to all of us!
Dear Pat, Kim and Jeff,
I was very sad to hear of Ed’s passing. Pat and Ed were so kind to me through the years, and especially my first year in College, in Columbia, MO. They would pick me up on Sunday morning for church, followed by brunch. I always knew I could count on them.
I will miss Ed’s big bear hugs when I was lucky enough to be in Vandalia visiting my Mom, and they stopped by for a visit on their way to St. Peter (or however that visit was worked in)
Pat, Kim and Jeff, you are in my prayers and I have been praying for peace and comfort during this difficult time. Heaven has gain one heck of a man, and I know God welcomed him with his own special bear hug.
Love Always, Cousin Amy
Dear Pat and the Runge family, please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss of Ed. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May you find comfort in the happy memories, and may Dr. Runge’s legacy live on through the kindness and wisdom he shared worldwide. Our world is a better place.
We are very saddened by Ed’s departure that crowned a personal and professional life full of exciting and fulfilling moments. We became acquainted with Pat and Ed
through the MBBIS-related activities that Ed managed in such a dedicated and inspiring way for those scholars who were fortunate enough to interact with him, learning how pivotal it was for him how to best tackle and successfully manage the challenging and thought-provoking topics he passionately mentored in the MBBIS initiative.
We became well acquainted with both Pat and Ed as friends in different occasions that allowed us to appreciate them for their warm and sincere friendship that we will sincerely treasure and fondly remember forever.
Ed will truly be missed for his professional dedication that has allowed many scholars to acquire the tools and critical understanding on how to best manage the complexity of crop production. A greater loss will come about for the beloved family members who will heartfully treasure the love bestowed upon them.
Our love to Pat and family.
Roberto and Kay
I was fortunate to have been a grad student at the Univ. of Missouri when Dr. Runge was dept. chair. He was always interested in our progress and made sure we stayed on schedule in our degree program. I always valued his friendship and mentorship, and was always delighted to see him at the annual ASA meetings. He touched many lives and will be sorely missed.
Working with Ed and Pat on the Beachel-Borlaug scholarship program brought us together in so many ways – this interaction showed that they reflect the best in America! What a privildge to know this caring couple.