Jay Runice

Jay M. Runice, 54, of Waukon died Thursday, November 11, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m. at Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon with Pastor Cathy Jurgens officiating. Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 16 at Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon.

Jay Mikkel Runice was born November 14, 1966 in Waukon, the son of Wayne and Sandy (Leiran) Runice. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon and attended Waukon schools. Jay enjoyed driving truck, snowmobiling, fishing, playing cards, bowling and always had a good story to tell.

As a young child spending a great deal of time with his Grandma June and Grandpa Ed, he developed a passion for driving milk truck just like his “Grapa-Ed”. Jay then passed this love down to his oldest son, Cody, who drives semi-truck today. Jay went on to drive truck for Lead-Free, David Kurk Trucking, Gary Mihm Trucking and Barry Wold.

Jay met Lisa Riek in 1985, and this relationship welcomed his first son, Cody Michael Runice, March 5, 1988. He and Lisa later went their separate ways yet remained good friends. Jay met and married Cheryl Ellingson May 15, 1993. From this union, he welcomed his second son, Edwin Jay Runice, August 17, 1993. Jay and Cheryl later divorced and remained friends.

His last place of employment was with Cletus Sommer Trucking until his snowmobile accident in March of 1997, just a few short months after losing his very good friend, Jeff Berns, in an automobile accident.

Jay’s snowmobile accident took away his ability to walk, talk, and even eat on his own, as well as losing sight in one eye. He worked relentlessly in rehab regaining his ability to walk on his own, talk (nearly non-stop), and eat to his heart’s desire after many, many months of hard work. A big thank you in this recovery goes out to Dr. David Schwartz and the Good Samaritan Center Rehabilitation team.

Jay left Good Samaritan Center and was able to live on his own independently in his own apartment until he was struck by a truck crossing the street in 2011. This incident again landed him back in ICU then on to many months of rehabilitation yet again. Jay again worked so hard to regain his independence, yet this was not God’s plan.

Jay required 24-hour supervision, taking him to his final destination to meet his TASC family. He met many fine staff and clients, but was blessed to have met and be carefully watched over by his good buddy, Danny Olson. His biggest passions in life were the Lord, his mother, children, grandchildren, family, the Green Bay Packers, and food. Sadly, after surviving countless accidents and mishaps, he lost his life while enjoying a snack after a day’s work.

He leaves behind many who will miss him dearly: his mother, Sandy Hesse (friend John Troendle) of Waukon; two sisters: Shelle (Allen) Fogt and their children, Logan (Mariah) Fogt of New Albin, Lane Fogt of Waukon, and Lauryn Fogt (fiance’ Darnell Burroughs) and their son, JD, of Waukon; and Heather (Scott) Van Gorp of Nashua; two sons: Cody Runice and his children, Mercedes (13), Addysen (12), Amiiyah (3) and Alyxzandr (10 months), of Waukon; and EJ (Shelby) Runice of Nashua; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

He is preceded in death by his father, Wayne, who died in 1987; his grandparents, Ed and June Leiran and Gerald and Irene Runice; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Honorary bearers are Joe Keenan, Steve Decker, Ron Bjerke and the TASC family. Casketbearers are Todd and Brandon Dietrich, Chip Lamb, Dennis Hill, Loran Waters, Scott Van Gorp, and Lane and Logan Fogt.

Sadly, Jay will miss out on the upcoming birth of his granddaughter in February to EJ and Shelby Runice, along with the birth of Logan and Mariah’s first child in May. We can all see Jay’s face and hear his one word the moment he met his Savior Jesus Christ and the Pearly Gates of Heaven; “WOW!!” is just what he would have said with that huge smile he always carried.

Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.