Runkle, Lowe
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Oklahoman Archives
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
November 11, 1992, p 34

Lowe Runkle, passed away November 8, 1992, at age 84. Born in 1908 in El Reno, Oklahoma, he grew up in Fort Lyons, Colorado and Oklahoma City, and attended the University of Oklahoma where he majored in journalism. At the University of Oklahoma, he was captain of the tennis team and won numerous championships, especially in doubles play where he achieved a national ranking. He married Alice Escoe in 1937. They made their home in Oklahoma City.

He began his life-long career as an advertising executive in the early 1930's, when he began employment with Ray Glenn Advertising Agency. In 1946, he purchased the agency and became its president and chief executive officer. Through his creative genius and hard work, he built the Lowe Runkle Company into the largest advertising agency of its time in Oklahoma, and one of the largest in the southwestern United States.

He has served as president of the Southwestern Association of Advertising Agencies and Governor of the Central Region of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and on the Board of Trustees of the American Association of Advertising Agencies Pension and Profit Sharing Plan.

A civic leader, he gave his time freely serving on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Better Business Bureau and the United Fund of Greater Oklahoma City for a number of years. He was also a trustee of the Oklahoma City Zoologic Society and Zoo Trust in which he took a special interest. For thirteen years he directed the United Way Fund Drive. He was a member of the Fortune Club, Men's Dinner Club, the Economic Club and the Committee of 100.

In 1967, he achieved special distinction when he was nominated by Governor Dewey Bartlett to be chairman of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Committee. He was honored by the American Judicature Society with the Herbert Lincoln Harley award in 1973, as the American having contributed the most to the judicial process, the first time the award was given to an Oklahoman or to a non-lawyer. In 1982, Lowe Runkle was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and was the first advertising executive to be so honored.

Late in his life, Lowe also took up bird carving and through his artistic skill became notable for this. He spent his summer vacations in Jackson, Wyoming, and enjoyed fly fishing.

He will be greatly missed by his family and his friends as a warm, thoughtful and considerate husband and father, and a man who was more than generous with his time and his special gifts.

He is survived by his wife, Alice; his two sons, Layton and Kent; and his grandchildren, Craig, Gretchen, Lowe II and Matthew, all of Norman.

Funeral services will be 2:30 p.m. Thursday, November 12, 1992, at Smith & Kernke Funeral Chapel, 1401 N.W. 23rd St., OKC, Ok. Interment at Rose Hill Burial Park. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.




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