HAMPDEN – John Paul Runden, Ph.D., 94, passed away Feb. 10, 2011, at a Bangor health care facility. He was born March 22, 1916, in Clinton, Ind., to Magnus E. Runden and Mary Elisa (Cullum) Runden.
After graduating from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in English, he was drafted by the Army Air Force and trained as an aircraft mechanic. Then under the Army Specialized Training Program, he was trained as a French interpreter, and then sent to Gen. Bolte’s Fighting 69th Infantry Division, where he became one of “Bolte’s Bivouacking Bastards,” serving as a forward observer in France and Germany. In 1944 he married his wife of 65 years, Charity Eva. He taught English and American literature at Franklin College in Indiana and at Indiana University, where he earned a doctorate degree. He then taught at the University of Kentucky, Western Illinois University and William Paterson University in New Jersey. His publications include “Melville’s Benito Cereno: A Guided Research Text,” “The Poetry of Hart Crane” and articles on Poe, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Melville and structural linguistics. Excerpts from a letter he wrote to his son in 1945 are quoted in “The Stories of Our War: Memories From The Men of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division.”
He was predeceased by his son, John Jr.; his brother, David; and his wife, Charity. He is survived by his daughter, Ingrid Runden, M.D., and his grandson, Zenon Chmilewsky, of Hampden; and his daughter-in-law, Hsu Mei Runden of New York City.
A memorial service will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at Hampden-Gilpatrick Funeral Home, 45 Western Ave., Hampden, with the Rev. Becky Gunn, Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, officiating. Gifts in his memory may be made to Edythe Dyer Community Library, 269 Main Road North, Hampden, ME 04444. Messages of condolence and memories may be shared through