Paul Julius Runsten
January 10, 1936 - November 6, 2021
Elk Grove, California—Paul J. Runsten, 85, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed into the arms of Jesus on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
Son of Carl and Edla Runsten, Paul spent his first year of life in the parsonage of the Saron Lutheran Church in Escalon, CA while his maternal grandfather (Klaus J. Falck of Albert City, Iowa) built their home on Stanislaus Street. He grew up in the Swedish Lutheran Church and the Escalon Covenant Church in Escalon, CA. Paul married his high school sweetheart, Dollo Blixt, on May 6, 1956. With the help of Paul’s father, Paul and Dollo managed and participated in the building of their own home on Rumble Road in Modesto where they raised their three boys. They were active members of the Modesto Covenant Church from 1960 to 1981 and faithful members of River City Christian Church (formerly First Covenant Church) in Rancho Cordova, CA for the past several decades.
A lifelong sports fan, Paul participated in football, basketball, and baseball as well as band at Escalon Union High School, graduating in 1954. Paul earned his degrees in Education, BA in 1962 and MA in 1976, from California State College, Stanislaus.
Paul began his work life at his parents’ store, Runsten Brothers Shoe Repair and Men’s Wear, in Escalon, CA. His teaching career began at Chatom Elementary in Turlock, CA. He served as a Title 1 Coordinator, Vice Principal, and Principal at Sylvan Union and Stanislaus Union School Districts in Modesto, CA from 1960 to 1981. Paul and Dollo owned and operated a PIP Printing Franchise in South Sacramento which eventually expanded into four locations in Sacramento and Elk Grove from 1983 to 1999. The Laguna Creek area of Elk Grove, CA has been their home base for nearly four decades.
Paul’s love for his Lord and Savior was closely followed by his great love for his family. He was their greatest cheerleader and always shared thoughtful words of wisdom in their birthday and Christmas cards. Paul is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Dollo; their three sons, Dennis (Lynn) of Rehoboth Beach, DE; Loren (Ann) of Elk Grove, CA; and John (Holly) of Auburn, CA; their eight grandchildren, Melissa, Troy (Brieanne), Tyler, Beau, Kara, Bethany, Jessica, Michael; and their great-granddaughter Avery; his siblings and their families: Elaine (the late Delbert) Rydquist of Modesto, CA and Philip (JoAnn) Runsten of Oak Park, CA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or River City Christian Church in Rancho Cordova, CA.
A graveside service will be held, Monday, November 15, 2021 at Burwood Cemetery, 28320 East River Road, Escalon, Ca 95320 at 10:00 am.
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