Thelma Arlettie Runyon was “Promoted to Glory” surrounded by family in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Monday, September 11, 2023 at the age of 95. She was born in Watonga, Oklahoma on March 30, 1928. Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Charles E. Runyon, Sr.; her parents, Jewel and Nora James; and her brother, Jerry James.
Thelma accepted Christ as her Savior when she was 18 while living at her second cousin’s house. She graduated from Western Baptist Bible College in Oakland, California in 1956. It was there that Thelma felt God’s calling to be a missionary. She joined the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, and in 1959, she traveled alone on a freighter to the Philippines. Thelma met her husband, Charles “Chuck” Runyon, in the Philippines and they married on February 1, 1961. Chuck and Thelma worked together to share the gospel with all who would listen. They returned to the United States in 1994 and retired in 1996 after serving as missionaries for 35 years. Thelma will be remembered as a loving, kind woman who loved God wholeheartedly and desired to serve Him with her life. She was known to all as a prayer warrior, and even in her final days, she spent time praying for others and reading her Bible.
Thelma is survived by two daughters, Lucinda Pauley (Mark) and Ruth Headland (Steve); son, Charles E. Runyon, Jr (Angela); 9 grandchildren, Alyssa (Scotty), Chris (Pam), Cassie, Julianne (Christian), Kiana (Joe), Kael, Ian, Luke (Lauren), and Hope (Joel); 4 great grandchildren, Henry, Evelyn, Moemi, and Luke, and baby Whalley due in 2024; her sister, Lucille (JC) Box; brother, Clarence (Dorothy) James; and sister-in-law, Carla James.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Sale Street Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 10:30 am. Thelma will be laid to rest with her husband at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo, California at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Our Daily Bread Ministries, which published the devotional Thelma read daily.