James Erling Runquist, 80

Published 9:04 am Sunday, October 19, 2014

James Erling Runquist, 80, of Davis, California, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Sept. 11, 2014, at his home in Davis, where he and wife Kay recently moved from their home of 49 years in Orinda. He died of chronic heart failure.

James was born Oct. 13, 1933, to Erling W. Runquist and Mary Jane (Hubbard) Runquist. He attended Austin schools and was valedictorian of Austin High School in 1951. He attended Harvard University before studying medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Jim was married to Kay Swickard, from Muscatine, Iowa, for 57 years. After military service from 1967 to 1969, of which he served one year in Vietnam, he returned to private medical practice in Orinda and served the medical community for 40 years. Upon retirement he enjoyed his “second career,” working in the tasting room of his son Jeff’s newly opened winery in Amador County, California, sharing his knowledge and affection for his son’s wines. He was fondly known as “Pops” to customers and staff.

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He leaves behind his wife Kay; sons: Jeff (Margie), and B.J. (Pam), Davis; two grandchildren: Megan, Los Angeles, Eric, Walnut Creek; sister Mary Jane Smith, Austin; step-sister Erleen (Wendell) Nelson, Austin; brother John (Luine), New Brighton; two nephews and two nieces.

Condolences can be sent to: rememberingjim@comcast.net. Contributions can be made in his name to: Yosemite Conservancy, 101 Montgomery St. Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104.