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Runge, Lambert J.

Runge, Lambert J.

September 28, 1931 — January 21, 2020

Lambert “Bert” John Runge, 88, was gathered into the arms of his Lord and Savior and taken to his heavenly home in the evening of January 21, 2020. Bert had struggled in his earthly body but gracefully passed away peacefully in his sleep with family in close attendance.

Bert was born on September 28, 1931 to Adolf and Katherine (Martens) Runge in Concordia, Missouri. He was baptized into Christ and claimed as God’s own on October 12, 1931. Being raised on a farm, Bert learned early in life the values of hard work and loving the land. Almost every day he could be found outside tending to a tree, the garden or the landscaping. After attending St Paul Lutheran School and then St Paul’s College High for high school in Concordia, MO he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War, attaining the rank of Tech Sergeant. Upon returning from that conflict he began college by attending Kansas City Junior College and became involved in the Walther League, where he met his future wife, Nita. They were married on August 27, 1955 and then Bert joined Nita at Valparaiso University where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1958. He and Nita remained lifelong fans and supporters of all things Valpo. He loved to host “watch parties” for Valpo Crusader basketball games or new student welcome parties. Bert also served for many years on their Alumni Board of Directors.

Bert and Nita returned to the Kansas City area after he graduated from college. They initially worshiped at Immanuel Lutheran Church (42nd & Tracy) but they bought their first house in Raytown and joined Peace Lutheran Church in 1960 and have remained active members until Bert’s death. After working for two years at Midwest Research Institute he joined Black and Veatch, where he worked as an engineer and project manager and eventually partner for the remainder of his career until retiring. He loved to travel and through work projects and vacations he visited 47 countries. He celebrated retirement by taking an around the world trip with Nita and had the bragging rights of being in the Million Mile Club of Trans World Airlines (TWA). Perhaps he loved visiting Germany most of all, the land of his origins, which he visited 58 different times throughout his life. When not working in the yard or traveling Bert would likely be found pursuing one of his favorite past-times, fishing, or perhaps hunting depending on the time of year.

Bert will be remembered by those who knew and loved him for his witty humor and regular jokes. He was also a huge believer in the value of education. He had an open heart for charitable giving and he regularly supported many different Lutheran schools and other ministries. He openly encouraged others to have giving hearts as well. Bert formed deep and lasting friendships. He preferred to work together and partner with others and even preferred jointly owning with friends many of the things that are needed only periodically such as a ladder or chain saw, as much as possible along life’s pathway.

Family was always a central part of Bert’s life and interests and God blessed him richly with a large extended family. He was preceded in death by all seven of his siblings: Florence Cariño, Gertrude Niermeier, Olinda Frerking, Lois Trainor, Julie Moses and infant twins Omar and Ortwin. Bert was never far from his loving wife of 64 years and soul mate Juanita “Nita” (Fields), who survives him. Bert and Nita raised two children, Alan and Karen, who blessed him with the joy of eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.  -Isaiah 54:10 (ESV), Bert’s Confirmation Verse

Visitation 10AM, service 11AM, Saturday, January 25 at Peace Lutheran, 8240 Blue Ridge Blvd; burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.

The family asks that gifts in memory of Bert be given to Valparaiso University (issue checks to “Valparaiso University” and indicate “In memory of Lambert Runge” in the memo; on-line gifts at “” with “In memory of Lambert Runge” in comments).

Service Information

Visitation 10AM, service 11AM, Saturday, January 25 at Peace Lutheran, 8240 Blue Ridge Blvd; burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.

The family asks that gifts in memory of Bert be given to Valparaiso University (issue checks to “Valparaiso University” and indicate “In memory of Lambert Runge” in the memo; on-line gifts at “” with “In memory of Lambert Runge” in comments).

Runge, Lambert J.'s Guestbook

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Many memories of Runge reunions . Just looking at some pictures and the last time we were together was at Aunt Erica's funeral in Concordia, MO. Love to all but especially you, Nita, at this time.

Leo and Betty Runge

Anita, we know firsthand of your and Bert’s faithful interest and continuing support of St. Paul’s Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO, by serving with him on the Board. We thank God for the faith, vision and encouragement he gave his Alma Mater, and we thank you for your loving support. May God comfort you in your sorrow with His promise, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Jn. 11:25,26. We look forward to that great Day when we will spend eternity together with God and all who have loved our Lord.

Rev. Alvin and Sylvia Lange

Nita, Bert will certainly be missed by his "family" at St. Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, MO. You two are such faithful ones to love St. Paul. It's been a pleasure for me to know the two of you.

Judy Schreiman Marshall

My thoughts, heart and prayers are with each of you. May God hold and care for each of you during this difficult time. Much love for all of you.

Wayne Geddis

While we just recently came to know Morgan's Papa over the past few years, he made a lasting impact on us through our conversations and his family. We enjoyed getting to know him and sharing our common Concordia connections. He will be missed and his legacy lives on. You all are in our prayers.

Kevin & Sharon Riechers

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with your whole family at this time.

Matt, Wanda, Joe and Jennaka Bultman

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. A lot of great memories with Uncle Bert and family from hunting trips back in the day. He was always kind and patient and willing to take the time to share knowledge and experience. We will miss him but glad he is fully restored and happy in paradise now.

Brad, Kelley, Brooke, Trent, Megan and Shay Beier

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