John Francis Runyen, Jr., 63, of Plain City, UT died on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at his home surrounded by his loving family and friends. John was born February 11, 1959, in Harrisburg, PA to Betty Lois Hornberger and John Francis Runyen, Sr.
He lived in Marysville, PA until 1965 when his father was transferred to Hill Air Force Base. He attended Edison Elementary, Highland Junior High and Ben Lomond High schools. John received his Bachelor of Science degree from Weber State University in 1982, majoring in Zoology with a Minor in Chemistry, he had plans to pursue medical school.
John was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He married Jan Marriott on September 7, 1978; their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple. He is survived by his wife Jan, sons Patrick (Whitney) and Robert; three grandchildren Quincy, Lincoln, and Jorden; sister Barbara Runyen (Edward) of Wilmette, IL; and many nieces and nephews.
John lost his eyesight when he was 25 years old as a result of his Type I Diabetes. In spite of this, he achieved many incredible milestones as a husband, father, son, brother and friend to many.
His professional career began as a Manager at Wangsgards Grocery in 1977. He received the “Grocer with Courage Award” in 1985, “Annual Spirit of the Industry Award” and “Grocer of the Year Award” in 1987 from the Utah Retail Grocer’s Association.
John joined the Business Enterprise Program of Utah in 1990. He was President and Owner of Runyen Enterprises and managed numerous businesses. He acquired the Federal Building Cafeteria in Ogden, Full Cafeteria in IRS buildings, and Vending Centers in Ogden area. He managed the Utah State Capitol Plaza Cafeteria which was a full-service cafeteria serving 300 customers daily. He managed the Utah State Capitol Gift Shop, which was considered one of the best gift shops for the 2002 Olympic Games. In 2005 he took over the management of the Food Services for Hill Air Force Base Military Flightline which served several thousand meals daily to Servicemen, he managed this operation until 2020. John held numerous leadership positions locally, statewide, and nationally. He was a member of the Business Enterprise Board (BEP) of Directors for several years. As President, he acquired several business entities for the BEP. He was President of the Board of the Weber Basin Disabled Association (Handi-Trans) and doubled passenger volume with 65 busses and 85 employees. He wrote the grant to acquire a 5-acre business site/buildings at BDO valued at $1 million.
John was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind and was the State Treasurer. In this capacity he personality lobbied in Washington, DC for the Federation with Utah senators and congressmen. As Treasurer he handled all financial business and most notably a $5 million bequest and the investment portfolio. He worked closely with the President of the National Federation of the Blind.
Even though John lost his sight he continued to golf, hunt and traveled the world.
John was loved by so many people. He was remarkable. He saw the best in everyone through the lens of goodness. His family was front and center. He made the best out of every challenge facing life with courage, indomitable spirit, and humor. He was a dear person with a beautiful spirit. His life was well lived and will be an inspiration for us all.
John’s services will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023, 11 a.m. at the Plain City 7th Ward, 2952 N. 4200 W., Plain City, UT. A viewing will be held on Friday, 6-8 pm at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd. Ogden and on Saturday prior to services at the church from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment will be at Plain City Cemetery, 4373 W. 1975 N., Plain City, UT.
John’s service will be livestreamed on John’s obituary page at www.myers-mortuary.com. If unable to watch at this time his service will be on Myers website indefinitely.
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