Cover photo for Wallace Runia's Obituary
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1928 Wallace 2024

Wallace Runia

February 29, 1928 — February 21, 2024

Marshall, MN

Wallace Runia, 95, of Balaton, MN passed away peacefully at Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall, MN on February 21, 2024. A visitation will be held at the Chandler Funeral Home in Chandler, MN on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 from 5:00-7:00PM and a memorial service will be held on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at the Chandler Reformed Church at 10:30 with burial service to follow at the Chandler Memorial Cemetery.

Wallace “Wally” Lee Runia was born on February 29, 1928, on a farm south of Chandler, MN. He was the 5th of 12 children, born to Ralph and Tryntje “Kate” (Zeylemaker) Runia. Wally grew up on a farm near Lake Wilson, MN, attending country school through the 8th grade. He then helped on the family farm until moving to southern California for a few years to work on a dairy farm with relatives. Upon moving back to MN, he met Evelyn DeKruif and they were united in marriage on December 7, 1951, at her parents’ farm near Chandler.  After farming with his father for a year, Wally joined the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Colorado Springs, CO and Fort Knox, KY.

Upon Wally’s honorable discharge, they moved to a small farm north of Lake Wilson, MN, then settled on their farm south of Balaton, MN in 1961, where they resided until January, 2023. In the spring of 2023, Wally and Evelyn moved to Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall, MN, where Wally died peacefully on February 21, 2024, just shy of 96 years old.

Wally and Evelyn built their life around their family, the farm, and their faith. They were members of the Chandler Reformed Church. Their early years consisted of hard work building their dairy and crop farm, and it was a family undertaking. After many years of milking cows, they took advantage of the dairy buyout and retired from dairy farming in 1987.

It would be hard to find someone who enjoyed retirement more than Wally. He continued to be a farmer, raising cattle, sometimes hogs, harvesting maple syrup, and baling hay. He was active in local horseshoe and bowling leagues. He also competed and won numerous medals and trophies in the Senior Olympics and horseshoe tournaments at the state and national levels. He enjoyed displaying them in his basement, on the “Wall of Wally”. Wally and Evelyn regularly spent time with their kids and grandkids, going to school events and helping with various household projects. In their travels he would often stop to see an old friend or relative. He enjoyed his leap year birthday status and bought himself a Harley for his “21st” birthday. In addition to horseshoeing and bowling, he loved to fish, golf, put together puzzles, play pool, cards, and beanbags with family and friends.

Wally never met a stranger. To him, every person was a friend who he hadn’t gotten to know yet.

He will be deeply missed.

Wally is survived by his wife of 72 years, Evelyn; 6 children, Linda Baker of Georgetown, TX, Marilyn (Gary) Rawlins of Colorado Springs, CO, Beverly (Steve) Bredeson of Lino Lakes, MN, Douglas (Julie) Runia of Clara City, MN, Brenda (Steve) Brouwer of Ames, IA, Bradley (Jill) Runia of Marshall, MN; 16 grandchildren, Christopher, Chelsey, Nicole, Jeffrey, Matthew, Trent, Stephanie, Cody, Emily, Olivia, Jordan, Trevor, Brevin, Kaitlyn, Keaton, McKenna; 11 (and counting) great-grandchildren; siblings Dorothy Mitchell, Helen (Harvey) Horn, Eldon “Butch” Runia, Phyllis (Jim) Nielsen.  He was preceded in death by his parents; and seven siblings, Gerry, Bob, Vernon, Gilbert, Richard, Mitchell, and Evelyn Mitchell.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wallace Runia, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Chandler Reformed Church (Chandler, Chandler Memorial Cemetary)

250 3rd Street, Chandler, MN 56122


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