Joseph L “Pete” Runnels

Published 3:53 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

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Joseph L. “Pete” Runnels, 79, passed away on February 11, 2023, at Willard Walker Hospice House in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 17, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, Texas. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in Orange, Texas.

Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, February 16, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, Texas.

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Born in Alice, Texas, on July 3, 1943, he was the son of Joe Runnels and Inez Harder Runnels. Pete was a lifelong resident of Orange, Texas, and a long-term civil servant.

He graduated from Lutcher Stark High School and later went on to graduate from Sam Houston State University.

He proudly served as Orange County Judge from 1976 to 1982. Pete also served multiple terms as Mayor of Pinehurst, Texas and was a member of Orange Texas Rotary Club, Orange Lions Club, and Kappa Alpha Order. In 1972, Pete was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

He was self-employed for 30 years, owning Runnels Janitorial Services, The Quarter Deck, Runnels Land Farm, and Furniture Mart.

He then spent10 years with Humana focusing on Medicare Advantage.

He also coached in the Orange Pony-Colt baseball league for 17 years.

Pete made a difference in numerous people’s lives and his memory will go on to be cherished by all who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Inez Runnels; his daughter, Deadra Runnels; and his sister, Barbara Maddox.

He is survived by his loving wife, Charmaine Runnels; his children, Lance Runnels and wife, Michelle, Jason Runnels and wife, Lori, and Karren Maxwell and husband, Jeremy; his grandchildren, Kyndal Runnels, Tyler Runnels, Brooklyn Runnels, Ashlyn Maxwell, and Grayson Maxwell; his sister, Kay Harris; along with other loving friends and family.