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Howell Runion '56

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Pacific remembers Emeritus Professor Howell Runion

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered Friday, May 20, to honor the memory of longtime Pacific professor Howell Runion '56
May 20, 2016

Professor Emeritus of Physiology and Pharmacology Dr. Howell Runion '56 passed away on May 3, 2016, at the age of 82. Runion was an alumnus and dedicated member of the Pacific faculty for 34 years until his retirement in 2002. 

Known as Howie to his friends and students, Runion was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1933. His family moved to Stockton in 1947, where his father, Howard Runion, was the founding chair of the nascent speech and hearing department at University of the Pacific, helping to expand the program over the next 20 years as chair.  

He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Pacific in 1956 and participated on the swim team as a student. He joined the Marine Corps in 1952, where he served in Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines, achieving the rank of Captain. He served nine years in the reserves following his discharge from active duty.

Runion returned to Pacific for a teaching credential from the Benerd School of Education in 1960. He earned his M.S. in biology from the University of Oregon in 1963 and his PhD in electrophysiology from the University of Glasgow in 1968. Before joining the Pacific faculty in 1969, he taught biology at Lincoln Elementary School and later became chair of the science department at Lincoln High School. In later life, he also earned a degree as a physician assistant from Stanford University and practiced neurology as a physician assistant for 15 years. 

Howell RunionRunion taught in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for 34 years. He received two Outstanding Educator of America awards during his career, and in 2003 he received the Order of Pacific, University of the Pacific's highest honor. In retirement, he was active with the Emeriti Society and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 57 years, Dianne (Braley) Runion '60, '74, sons Scott and wife Heather, Timothy and wife Paula, three grandchildren and two nephews. Those wishing to do so may make contributions in his memory to Hospice of San Joaquin or to the Pharmacy Memorial Scholarship, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, attention to Office of the Dean.

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