Lydia Runkel

April 14, 1917 - March 23, 2012

Lydia Olivia Rewis Runkel of Waukesha died Friday, March 23, 2012, at her residence at the age of 94. She was born April 14, 1917, in Atlanta, the daughter of the late Millard and Elizabeth (nee Rogers) Rewis.

In the spring of 1935, Lydia was honored as a student outstanding in art and was awarded a four-year scholarship offered by the Delaware County Federation of Womens Clubs. In 1939, she was the recipient of a European traveling fellowship and studied in Italy, Switzerland and France, where her trip was cut short by the start of World War II; she was able to board one of the last ships to America. Lydia graduated in 1941 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. She also studied at the Moore Institute of Art and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Lydia was a professor at Carroll College from 1941 to 1945, where she headed the art department. While teaching at Carroll College, Lydia met faculty member Joseph Runkel, they courted and then married in Virginia in June 1942. Continuing her education, Lydia received her master's degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She belonged to the First Congregational United Church of Christ for many years. Lydia served as a regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was an activist in peace demonstrations, also was a founding supporter of the Hebron House and served as the president of the Waukesha Women's Club.

She will be sadly missed by her loving son, Phil Runkel of Waukesha. She is further survived by a niece, Carolyn Key; a nephew, Richard Rewis; and cousins, other relatives and many friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husband, Joseph, on Oct. 10, 1978, and brother, Millard Rewis.

A special thank-you to Susie, Katie and all the loving caregivers at Patty Care, as well as Vitas Hospice. Additionally, a heartfelt thank-you to Al, Maureen, Jonathan, Bob, Ellen and John.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until the 7 p.m. funeral service Wednesday, March 28, at Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. The Rev. Ralph Schultz will preside. Interment will be at 10 a.m. Friday, March 30, at Prairie Home Cemetery. Please meet at the cemetery office.

Memorials are appreciated to Carroll University, 100 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186; First Congregational United Church of Christ, 100 E. Broadway, Waukesha, WI 53186; Hebron House of Hospitality, 1601 E Racine Ave., #103, Waukesha, WI 53186; or Waukesha Catholic Worker, 615 Lake St., Waukesha, WI 53186.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035 or go to waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute.