Amherst Magazine

Robert J. Runser ’51

Robert J. Runser ’51 died July 17, 2010.
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ROBERT JAMES RUNSER ’51

Our classmate and Theta Delta Chi brother died July 17, 2010, after a courageous seven-month battle with diabetes-related illnesses. Vera, Bob’s bride and companion for over 40 years, and his son, Jeffrey, predeceased him. Bob’s daughter, Robin Runser, survives him. Bob had recently celebrated his 81st birthday.

Although Bob and Vera were natives and longtime residents of California, they retired in 1986 to their cattle breeding, 50-acre farm near Charlottesville, Va. Bob enjoyed the out-of-doors, working on the farm, fishing and golf. He and Vera traveled the world.

After graduating from Amherst, Bob spent three years in the U.S. Army (Army Security Agency). Most of his service was in Salzburg, Austria. Tough duty, but someone had to do it! Upon his discharge, Bob returned to Berkeley and obtained his M.B.A. at University of California. He also met and, in 1958, married Vera.

Bob became a C.P.A., and after 10 years in public accounting with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in LA, he received an offer that couldn’t be refused and became vice president-controller of Signal Oil & Gas Co. While at Signal, he oversaw its growth from a $500 million regional oil company to a $5 billion diversified high technology enterprise. Before his retirement, Signal had merged with Allied Corp. to form AlliedSignal.

Bob served his communities in both California and Virginia. He was chairman of the San Diego and Los Angeles March of Dimes chapters and served on the board which made recommendations to Congress for reorganization of the failed savings and loan system. Bob took a keen interest in local California and Virginia politics.

Our class sends its sincerest condolences to Robin. We hope she will join us at Amherst in May 2011 for the class’s 60th Reunion. Bob will be much missed and is fondly remembered.

—John Kirkpatrick ’51


—Reg Frost ’51

 

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