Date of death: 1/4/2008

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1952

Arthur P. Runnels was among the first to apply when the Archdiocese of Cincinnati reinstated the ministry of the deacon in 1973. After three years of study, he was ordained with the first class of permanent deacons in 1976. He served four Greater Cincinnati parishes for 30 years.According to his wife, Anita Runnels, he baptized countless babies and adults and performed many marriages.His own life and Christianity was enriched as much as the lives of those he served,” his son, Herb Runnels, of St. Louis, said.Mr. Runnels died of heart and kidney failure at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. He and his wife had lived in the same house in Pleasant Ridge for 48 years before moving to the Lodge in Loveland in October to be near one of their daughters.Called “Art” by his friends, Mr. Runnels, 80, was born and reared in Richmond, Ind. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and moved to Cincinnati to attend Xavier University.Mr. Runnels was drafted into the Army and spent two years in Okinawa during the Korean War before he came home to marry Anita Effler.Mr. Runnels was business manager at St. Anthony Messenger Press, which supports the Franciscan ministry and prints Catholic publications, for 36 years before retiring in 1996.In addition to his wife of 55 years and his son, survivors include two daughters, Cary Spain, of Denver, and Andi Alexander, of Deerfield Township; a sister, Jacqueline Cox, of Richmond, Ind.; two brothers, Jerry Runnels, of Anderson Township, and Bob Runnels, of Winchester, Tenn.; and two grandchildren.Memorial gifts are suggested to St. Francis Soup Kitchen, 14 E. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.Information provided by The Cincinnati Enquirer online,, on 1/8/08.