Gilbert Leonard Runnels1,2

#23085, b. 19 April 1921, d. 20 August 1997
     Gilbert Leonard Runnels was born on 19 April 1921 in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, USA.1,2,3 He was the son of Frank Ivory Runnels and Helen Bertha Haensch.1,4,5,2 He married Ellen Golen Forsythe on 2 June 1945.2 He died on 20 August 1997 in 702 South Fillmore Avenue, Mason City, Iowa, USA, at age 76.2,3
     Gilbert Runnels (son, age 8) was enumerated in the census on 5 April 1930 in 301 Fourth Avenue, South Saint Paul, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA, in the household of Frank Runnels.4 Gilbert Runnels (brother-in-law, age 18) was enumerated in the census on 13 April 1940 in 240 8th Avenue South, South St Paul, Minnesota, USA, in the household of Donald Rudeen.5
     Obituary: MASON CITY Gilbert L. "Gib" Runnels, 76, of 702 S. Fillmore Ave., died Wednesday (Aug. 20, 1997) at home. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at St. James Lutheran Church, 1148 Fourth St. S.E., with the Rev. David Anderson officiating. Burial will be at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Fort Snelling, Minn. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Hogan- Bremer Colonial Chapel, 126 Third St. N.E., with a Loyal Order of the Moose service beginning at 5 p.m. There will be further visitation one hour prior to services on Monday at the church. Gib was born April 19, 1921, in Mason City, son of Frank and Helen (Haensch) Runnels. The family moved to South St. Paul, Minn., in 1928. Gib was a member of the 1939 Class of South St. Paul High School. He then went to work at Armour and Company and enlisted in the Army Air Force on Jan. 5, 1942. He spent his war time with the 5th Air Force in Southwest Pacific from 1942 to 1945. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters, the Air Medal with one cluster, three unit citations and five battle stars. Gib married Ellen Forsythe on June 2, 1945. She preceded him in death on June 22, 1982. Gib moved to Mason City in 1978, still working for Armour and Company, retiring in 1983 after 42 years. He married Nancy (Legler) Wise on Sept. 19, 1991. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed dancing and listening to Big Band music. He was a member of the Clear Lake VFW post #4868 and the Moose Lodge, Mason City. Survivors include his wife, Nancy, Mason City; a son, James Runnels and his wife, Carol; and grandchildren Chad and Linsey, all of El Paso, Texas; two daughters, Jane Lee and grandson, David Lee, South St. Paul, Minn., and Mary Kippels and grandsons, Tom Kippels Jr. and Jason Kippels, all of South St. Paul, Minn; stepchildren, Todd Wise, Fertile; Terry Wise, Thompson; Tim Wise, Mason City; Trinda (Wise) Dight, Charles City, and Tiffany Wise, Mason City; and seven stepgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife and one sister.2


  1. FamilySearch, Iowa County Births, 1880-1935.
  2. Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa.
  3. SSDI.
  4. 1930 US Census, Minnesota.
  5. 1940 US Census, Minnesota.
  6., Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2000.
  7. Jane (Runnels) Lee, e-mail to John George Burness, 17 November 2002.