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Herbert Runyon, 85, dairy farmer, pilot

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CLAVERACK—Herbert Rowland Runyon of Claverack died January 7, 2011. He was 85 years old.

Born November 1, 1925 in Somerville, New Jersey, he was the son of Gilbert and Sarah Brokaw Runyon and brother to Virginia Runyon, Barbara Quick, Sarah Fulper, Nancy Bahrenburg, Joyce Curry and Alberta Becksted.

Mr. Runyon grew up on a dairy farm. Upon graduating from Princeton High School, he worked on his father’s farm and started his own herd of registered Holsteins.

During that time he learned to fly his own single-propeller airplane. In 1950, he married Jean Stryker.  They moved their family to Claverack and established Beaver Creek Farm in 1957. He dedicated his life to his family, the land, and his Holsteins and served several community organizations including, the Philmont Rotary Club, Ockawamick Central School District Board of Education, and the Claverack Zoning Board of Appeals.

Mr. Runyon continued to farm into his 80s. He also enjoyed traveling and exploring the American West with his six sisters.

In addition to his sisters, he is survived by his seven children, Blanche Braillard (William), Jean Montoya (Frank), Herb Jr., Kendrick (Lori), Carolyn (Michael Shutts), Thomas, and Joy (Jude Jones); and 13 grandchildren, Jacob and Andy Montoya, Michael, Nathan, and Cody Runyon, Lauren, Rachel, Katherine, and Jennifer Runyon, Michael and Eric Shutts, and Dane and Elizabeth Runyon. He was predeceased by his former wife, Jean and a grandson, Herbert, IV.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 15, at 9:30 a.m. in the Christian Education Building at the Dutch Reformed Church of Claverack, 88 Route 9H. Light fare to follow.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to either NY FarmNet–Hodnett Training Fund, 415 Warren Hall, Ithaca 14853 or to the Dutch Reformed Church of Claverack, Drawer K, Claverack 12513. Arrangements are with McDonald-Valenti-Richards Funeral Home, Greenport.

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