Ralph Jasper Runco, 98, of Lebanon passed away at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House in Albany, Oregon on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.
Ralph was born to Joseph and Mary (Muto) Runco on August 13, 1920 in Salida, Colorado. He attended Catholic elementary school in Salida, and junior high and high school in Montebello, California. He loved sports and was a football quarterback and lettered in track and football. He graduated from Montebello High School in 1939. After graduating, he went to work for U.S. Rubber Company making essential parts for military equipment used in World War II. In 1942, he went to Frank Wiggins Trade School, graduating in 1943 with a diploma in Diesel Mechanics. Ralph began his long career as an auto mechanic, working in shops in California and then later moving to Lebanon working at Ragsdale Motors, which later became Primasing Motors.
It was at church, where Ralph met Lily Cuccia, and they later married on April 15, 1945 in East Los Angeles. They resided in La Habra, California, where they built two homes, working side by side. From there, they moved to and built another home in Orland, California, and then to Lebanon, Oregon in 1967 to build a final home together. Lily passed away in November 2016.
Ralph was a church elder for many years in Orland, CA and at Bethel Assembly of God in Lebanon, where he was also a Royal Ranger leader. He was very active in the building ministry at Bethel Assembly. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, gardening, tree grafting and fixing everything his family and friends broke. He had a talent for knowing not only how to repair cars, but seemingly, everything else. He raised cattle on his property and is often remembered driving his Ford Ferguson tractor.
He is survived by daughters Judy Begley and husband Chuck of Albany; Debra Adams of Wilsonville and Cynthia Adams and husband Mark of Lebanon. Brothers Ray Runco and wife Ann of La Habra, California, Roy Runco and wife Caroline of Sisters, Oregon and sister Lorraine Brown of Brea, California. Grandchildren, Michael Begley of Beaverton; Elizabeth Eddings and husband Andrew of McMinnville; Rachel Adams of Portland and Amy Smith and husband Jacob of Lebanon. Great-grandchildren, Evan and Ella of McMinnville.
He was preceded by death by Lily, his beloved wife of 71 years, his parents, and brother Joseph Runco, Jr.
A celebration of life will be at 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23 at Santiam Place 139 Main St., Lebanon. A reception will follow.
Family suggests that memorial donations in lieu of flowers be made for the purchase of Bibles through The Gideon’s International, a favorite charity of Ralph’s. Contributions may be sent in care of Huston-Jost Funeral Home, 86 W. Grant St., Lebanon, OR 97355.