Blaine Runner peacefully passed away at his home in Sutherland on Sept. 9, 2023 at age 94.

Blaine, the son of Clarence and Ida (Johnson) Runner, was born Oct. 17, 1928 in Hershey where he was raised. He participated in 4-H then after graduating from Hershey High School in 1946, he attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. After his schooling, Blaine entered the U.S. Army in 1952.

Following his honorable discharge, Blaine returned home to the family farm and ranch. On June 12, 1955, he was united in marriage to Betty June McConnell at the Maria Lutheran Church in Hershey.

Blaine was a lifelong rancher who raised black angus cattle for 70 years. He and Betty lived north of Hershey, until 1962 when they moved to Mullen. They moved again in ’71, this time to a ranch 30 miles north of Ashby in Cherry County. After retiring they settled in Sutherland where they attended the United Methodist Church.

Blaine was a conscientious steward of the land.  He was a board member of the NRD and helped several young families with the opportunity to get started in ranching. He loved to learn, especially about science, and learned to fly in 1945; airplanes were a lifelong passion.

Blaine was also active in his community; he was president of a rural Cherry County School Board and taught Sunday school.

Blaine is survived by his wife of 68 years, Betty; daughters, Bonnie Quick (Clifford) of Callaway and Ruth Fleecs (Pat) of Sutherland; grandchildren, Caleb Quick (Cynthia), Jake Fleecs (Katie) and Collin Fleecs (Breann Paul); great-grandchildren, Esther, Cora and Abigail Quick, Liam Paul-Fleecs, and baby boy Fleecs due in November; his brother, Robert Runner (Jane) of Ashby; brothers-in-law, Jim Jones of Eddyville and Bruce McConnell of Arnold; as well as many nieces and nephews, including Doug Runner and Jennifer Hayes, and other family.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jim Runner; parents, Clarence and Ida; sisters, Mary Binger (George) and Lorene Huebner (Lloyd “Slick”); sisters-in-law, Patricia Jones and Kay McConnell; nephew, Clark McConnell; and grandson, Andrei Quick.

Services will be 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the United Methodist Church in Sutherland with Pastor Mark Baldwin officiating. Burial will follow in O’Fallon’s Riverside Cemetery.

Visitation will be Saturday from 12:30 p.m. until service time at the church. Arrangements are with Odean Colonial Chapel.

Memorials are to Sutherland Methodist Church or the donor’s choice. The guest book may be signed online at

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