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Harold William Runke

December 7, 2012
The Journal

NEW ULM - Harold William Runke, age 81, of New Ulm, died Monday, December 3, 2012, at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, at St. John's Lutheran Church in New Ulm.

A visitation will take place 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, and 7:30-8:30 a.m. Monday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home SOUTH CHAPEL in New Ulm, and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow the service at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in New Ulm. To sign the guest book or to leave an online condolence for his family go to

Harold was born Sept. 13, 1931, to William and Elsie (Radtke) Runke in Cedar Mills Township. He attended St. John's Lutheran Grade School in Cedar Mills. He graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1949. He attended Dr. Martin Luther College, earning a Bachelor of Science-Education degree in 1953. On June 12, 1954, Harold was united in marriage to Eleanor Techtman. For 41 years, he served as principal, teacher, organist, and choir director at the following Lutheran congregations:

St. John's Lutheran School, Boyd (1951-1952)

Trinity Lutheran School, Hoskins, NE (1952-1955)

St. Matthew's Lutheran School, Niles, IL (1955-1964)

St. John's Lutheran School, Montello, Wis. (1964-1974)

Trinity Lutheran School, Nicollet (1974-1981)

St. John's Lutheran School, Wrightstown, Wis. (1981-1993)

Harold served on the steering committee for the founding of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School and was a member of the original Board of Directors. He also was privileged to serve his Lord and his Synod in the following ministries: WELS Prison Ministry; Crossing Generations Committee for WELS OWLS; past president of the Minnesota Valley Chapter of OWLS; St. John's Lutheran Church Board of Elders and Board of Stewardship.

Harold is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Eleanor, of New Ulm; one daughter, Susan Saatkamp (Gary) of Milwaukee, Wis.; three sons, Rev. William (Lori) of Pardeeville, Wis., Robert (Gail) of Nicollet, David (Joan) of Sun Prairie, Wis.; 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He is further survived by three sisters, Eveline Crabtree of Kingwood, Texas, Elva (Gary) Besel of Mounds View, and Marian (Allen) of Coloma, Wis. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, by one brother, Elmer, one sister, Erna, four brothers-in-law, and four sisters-in-law.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School Foundation, Martin Luther College Scholarship Endowment Fund, and the St. John's Lutheran Church Building Fund.



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