Wallace Elwood Runge, age 85, died peacefully on December 17, 2021 at his home in Eagan, MN.
Funeral services will be held at Central United Methodist Church in Milbank, SD, on Thursday, December 23, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22, at the Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday. Interment will be at Milbank Cemetery.
Casket Bearers will be Corey Feiock, Justin Feiock, Tyler Feiock, Brian Folk, Ryan Folk, and Keith Christians.
Honorary Bearers will be Valley Queen retirees and employees.
The service will be livestreamed and recorded and will be available at the bottom of this page.
Wallace Elwood Runge was born on January 13, 1936 in Milbank, SD, to parents, Delos Alfred Runge and Alvina Mae (Kruger) Runge. He was baptized and confirmed at Evangelical United Brethren Church in Milbank. He started school in Twin Brooks for 1½ years and then went to the Milbank Public Schools until his graduation in 1954.
Wally delivered papers for the Minneapolis Star Journal all throughout grade school. He became an expert bike rider and could ride backwards, a skill which he was able to demonstrate to his grandsons in later years. He enjoyed playing coronet in the Milbank High School Band, and he started driving a gravel truck as a freshman in high school. He worked in his Dad’s gravel and basement digging business and later managed the business.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in December of 1958. He had his basic training at Fort Carson, CO. After that, he took military police training at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA. He trained a German shepherd dog named, Fritz, at Lakeland Air Force Base in Lakeland, TX. He became a military policeman and guarded a missile base which protected Camp Hanford Atomic Works in Richland, WA, with the assistance of Fritz. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in December of 1960.
Wally married the love of his life, Faye Bucholz, on May 29, 1965. They made their home in Milbank and enjoyed 56 happy years together. They had one daughter, Geraldine, born in 1966. She was, and still is, Daddy’s Girl.
Wally became employed at Valley Queen Cheese Factory in Milbank where he worked for 36½ years. He started as a bulk truck driver and was later promoted to truck supervisor and field man until his retirement in May of 1997.
This family of 3 shared many good times together. They enjoyed camping together and spent many fun weekends at Roy Lake State Park. They took RV vacations to the Black Hills, Oregon, Washington, D.C., New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and many other places along the way. They started with a pop-up camper van and boat and later upgraded to a small motorhome. Wally also enjoyed fishing, water skiing and bike riding when they went camping. In 1990, Wally & Faye traveled to Hawaii for their 25th Anniversary.
After their retirement in 1997, Wally and Faye purchased a Hitchhiker 5th wheel trailer and spent 13 winters in Florida enjoying the sunshine, sightseeing, bike riding and friendship.
Wally really enjoyed his antique tractors. He owned a 1939 Farmall F20 and a 1943 Super M loader tractor. He took his F20 to the Twin Brooks Threshing Show for many years and brought home numerous trophies from a variety of tractor pulls. He also rode his F20 in many parades. Wally spent many hours scooping snow with his Super M loader making huge snow piles for Geri and her friends to enjoy when they were young. Wally also loved his motorcycles. He and Faye enjoyed riding his Honda Gold Wing and later their motor scooters. Many people share how much they remember watching Wally ride his scooter around Milbank over the years.
Wally loved spending time with his daughter, Geri, and her family. When his grandsons were younger, they enjoyed numerous rides on Grandpa’s tractors, motorcycle, scooter, and riding lawn mower. He also enjoyed playing farm toys and checkers with the boys, and he could fix almost anything. He was very appreciative of the support of his son-in-law, Doug, always making sure he had everything he needed when it came to tools. Wally enjoyed spending more time with all of them after he and Faye moved to Eagan in September of 2020.
Wally was a faithful member of Central United Methodist Church in Milbank and rarely missed a Sunday service. He was a faithful follower of Jesus and took comfort in the Word and prayer. He was an honest, hard-working husband, father, and grandfather. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to whomever needed one, and he will be deeply missed by many.
Wally is survived by his wife Faye of Eagan, MN; daughter, Geraldine (Douglas) Feiock of Eagan, MN; grandsons: Corey Feiock of Maple Grove, MN; Justin Feiock of Eagan, MN; Tyler Feiock of Inver Grove Heights, MN; sisters-in-law: Judy Radtke of Milbank, SD; Shirley (Arlo) Christians of Twin Brooks, SD; and June Fauson of Marina, CA; brothers-in-law: Rodger (Rose) Bucholz of Hermosa, SD; Francis Boogaard of Watertown, SD; Morris Blocker; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Delos and Alvina Runge; his only sibling, Caroline (Charles) Gommer; stepfather, Floyd Runge; parents-in-law, William and Lydia Bucholz; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Arthur Radtke, Darlene (Earl Christians) Blocker, Sidney (DeAnne) Bucholz, Jorgine Boogaard, Willard Bucholz, Janice Johnson, Lois (Ned) Gloege, and Ethel (Howard) Benshoof.