Former St. Charles County Sheriff Ray Runyon passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at the age of 83.
Runyon began his 33 year law enforcement career with the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Office on June 1, 1967 and served in numerous capacities including patrol, detective and bailiff. Runyon was promoted to sergeant and lieutenant and served three years as county sheriff. Runyon was first elected sheriff on November 6, 1991 in a special election to fill the unexpired term of former sheriff Edward J. Ubinger; he became the first democrat elected in 12 years. Runyon won reelection in 1992 to a shortened two year term as a result of the county’s home rule charter form of government being approved by the voters. In a nationwide republican landslide led by Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”, Runyon lost a close bid for reelection in 1994. Runyon went on to serve three years as Chief Deputy (Major) with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and three more years with the Cottleville Police Department, retiring from law enforcement on September 1, 2001.
Sheriff Runyon fulfilled a number of his campaign pledges including increasing deputies assigned to patrol, increasing DWI enforcement, revived the reserve deputy program and assigned officers to teach D.A.R.E. classes in county elementary schools. In response to an increasing number of thefts and property damage committed by juveniles, Runyon requested elected officials pass a curfew ordinance in the unincorporated areas of the county. Other high-profile events during his term of office include; 1993 flooding, murder investigation of Walter Scott, murder of Angie Housman and the installation of metal detectors and increased security at the county courthouse.
When the question of who was your favorite police officer is posed on “Growing up in St. Charles” social media sites, Ray Runyon is often remembered as one of the best. He was honest, fair and treated people with respect.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Visitation/Service: Pitman Funeral Home, 1545 Wentzville Pkwy Wentzville, MO 63385, Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:00PM to 6:00PM with services immediately following at 6:00PM
Survivors include: sons, Joseph (Tonya) Runyon of Old Monroe, MO, Leonard (Amy) Runyon of Wentville, MO, Larry Neuhaus of Warrenton, MO, Timothy (Stacy) Neuhaus of Warrenton, MO; two daughters, Bonnie (Phillip) Martinez of NY, Patty (Mike) Timmermeier of Harvester, MO; four brothers, Frank Runyon, Ross Runyon, John Runyon, Neal Henry; two sisters, Savana Ford, Delphia Nix; 21 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; He is preceded in death by his wife, Connie Drake, father, Henry Runyon, mother, Nellie Runyon, , son, Dennis Runyon, brother, Delbert Runyon, brother, Tom Runyon, brother, Ronnie Runyon, brother, Connie Runyon, brother, Sambo Henry, granddaughter, Jessica Allison Runyon, granddaughter, Caitlyn Desiree Neuhaus. Ray was former Sherriff of St. Charles for 6 years, with over 40 years of law enforcement service. Member of Fun Cars for Christ Car Club. Ray enjoyed hot-rodding, hunting, fishing, and loved time spent on river. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Memorials may be made to Backstoppers in care of Pitman Funeral Home P.O. Box 126 Warrenton, MO 63383.