William Bryan “Bill” Runyan, Jr., passed away on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at his home surrounded by family. He was born on December 18, 1939, to his parents, Bryan and Annie Winburn Runyan and was an active member of the South Main Baptist Church. In 1958, he graduated Crossett High School, where he set numerous records in track and field and eventually was inducted into the Ashley County and Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame.
In 1964, Bill graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He later returned to his hometown of Crossett, embarking on a long illustrious career in insurance and real estate.
For many years, Bill assisted the families of Ashley County with their needs at Mac’s Insurance and Real Estate. Later he became the co-owner of the Mac Campbell Agency, after merging with Mr. Scott Campbell, eventually retiring from the industry in 2000.
Following a distinguished career, Bill also retired from the United States Army National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving his country for over thirty years.
Bill was an honest and genuine business leader who was not only committed to his career, and his country, but undoubtedly to his hometown. His love and admiration for the people of Crossett was evident in everything he did, including serving on the Crossett School Board, as well as serving as president multiple times for the Crossett Lion’s Club. He also served as president of the Professional Insurance Agents of Arkansas and was a member of the Early Arkansas Reenactors Association.
His generous civic nature even earned him the prestigious Lion’s Club “Man of the Year” award on more than one occasion. He was also chosen to narrate an interactive panoramic display for the Felsenthal Wildlife Refuge.
Bill was an avid Razorback fan, a gardener, and a man who enjoyed a good run or bike ride, but above all, he had a deep love for God which was unmistakable. He poured it into the songs he sang in the church choir and the Sunday school class he proudly taught. Bill enjoyed all of God’s blessings by loving fiercely, laughing and whistling often, and sharing life’s wonderful moments with those he loved, especially his grands who affectionately called him “Pop”.
Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by one sister, Lois Chanslor.
He leaves behind his loving wife of thirty-two years, Wanda Cooper Runyan of Crossett; five children, Bryan Runyan (Mary) of Dumfries, VA, Annetta Smith (Jeremy) of Heber Springs, AR, John Runyan (Tammi) of Monroe, LA, Rhonda Morace (Brad) also of Monroe, and Steven Beckett (Amy) of Osage Beach, MO; along with one sister, Charlotte Hollimon of Crossett; ten grandchildren, Madeline, Nicholas, Emily, and Seth Runyan, Kristin Hebert (Brett), Liana Branch (Matt), Magan Lynch (Justin), Tara Locantro, Haley Adams (Spencer), and Taylor Beckett; six great-grandchildren, Kambry, Barrett, Tanner, Charlotte, Ella, and Harper; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 22nd, at the South Main Baptist Church, 2801 S. Main St., in Crossett, with Bro. Jimmie Lewis, Jack Allen, and Bro. Brad Savage, officiating, followed by interment at Pinewood Memorial Park with full military honors under the direction of Medders Funeral Home of Crossett. Pallbearers are Craig Pennington, Shane Copes, Chuck Ozment, Rick Owens, Cleve Summerland, Brick Morris, Mark Greenlee, and Benji Price. Honorary pallbearers are Billy Morris, Gary Johnson, Dale Guthrie, Martin Anderson, Jessie Riley, and Roger Williams.
Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening at Medders Funeral Home, 1564 Hwy 52 W, in Crossett.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the South Main Baptist Church building fund.
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South Main Baptist Church
PO Box 430, Crossett AR 71635