Edward J. Runowicz, 98, passed away from us peacefully at his residence in The Orchards in Southington, on April 9, 2016. He was born January 8, 1918 in Lowell, Mass. to Aniela (Stefanik) and Joseph Runowicz.
A child of the Great Depression, he worked multiple jobs while attending both elementary and high school and gave up his dream of going to college to keep his family going. His sister, Zennie, always credited him with saving the family home from foreclosure during the difficult times of the 1930’s. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Edward immediately enlisted in the United States Navy. He served with Bombing Squadron 20 aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise during the Battle for Leyte Gulf and later on board the U.S.S. Lexington. Edward stayed in the Navy after the war and served with an American military advisory group sent to Greece to aid the Greek government in its fight against a communist takeover during the Greek Civil War. During the involvement of the United States in the Korean War, he was assigned to a heavy attack squadron based principally in Japan. Later peace time assignments involved multiple overseas carrier cruises. He finished his twenty-year naval career as the Navy Recruiter in Waterbury, Conn. During his career, he was awarded, among other decorations, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Combat Action Ribbon, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic/Pacific Campaign medal with five battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal and five Good Conduct Medals. Although he was proud of his service, Edward was a modest and private man who would not talk about his experiences, explaining that it was only a job that had to be done.
When he retired from the Navy, he began a second career at the Uniroyal Chemical Co. in Naugatuck. In this second career he often served as a mentor to the new young engineers and management personnel. Upon his second retirement, Edward devoted himself to his family reveling in the accomplishments of his many grandchildren. He was a long-time fan of the Boston Red Sox and the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team.
The last of his generation, Edward was predeceased by his parents, his sisters, Zennie, Adela, Terese, and Angie and her husband Reginald Nason, and by his brothers, Louis, and Henry and his wife Lillian.
Edward is survived by Laura, his wife of 66 years, his son Michael and his wife Marie of Cheshire, and their two sons, Bradley and Robert; by his son Lawrence of Cromwell, and his son Eric and his daughter Alyssa Domingos and her husband Michael; by his daughter Donna Cordeau and her husband Thomas of Goshen, CT and their three children, daughter Danielle and sons Douglas and his wife Lizzie, and Matthew and his wife Ashley; by his son David and his wife Donna of Snellville, Georgia and their daughter India Dover and her husband Adam and their two children Ava and Cooper; and by his son Matthew and his wife Kellie of New Hartford and their two children, daughter Skylar and son Dane.
Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. The DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St. is handling the arrangements. The family all want to acknowledge our deep appreciation of the loving care and kindness provided to Edward over the past year and a half by his 24/7 care provider Rejoice Anson of Infinity Homecare Services. Her attention to Edward’s needs richly enhanced his long run in this lifetime. We are truly grateful for the care she gave to him. Edward’s family also want to thank the staff at the Orchards where he spent his last eleven years for all the care and indulgence they afforded him.
For online condolences visit www.dellavecchiafh.com