Cover photo for Thomas Runnels's Obituary
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Thomas Runnels

August 25, 1941 — January 29, 2022

Thomas Runnels

Thomas Austin Runnels, 80, of Cleveland, MS was called home to be with the Lord on January 29, 2022. A visitation will be held Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at Ray Funeral Home from 11:00-1:00P.M. with a Celebration of Life Service at 1:00P.M. with a Graveside service to follow at the Beulah Cemetery.

Thomas was born on August 25, 1941 in Drew, MS to Mr. Loyd "Dick" Vernon Runnels and Mrs. Jimmie Earline Guest Runnels.

Thomas served in the MS National Guard Army. He was a retired auto mechanic where he owned and operated Runnels Garage for fifty plus years, many of those years alongside his son Kenny. Many local mechanics got their start as young men working for Thomas at Runnels Garage. His profession created a passion for all types of racing, especially dirt track racing. Through the G400 legacy, he was able to pass down and share many years of this sport with his sons and grandson, Trevor.

When he wasn't racing, he enjoyed spending time in the outdoors hunting. Many kids killed their first deer while hunting with Thomas at Buckhaven Hunting Club.

Thomas enjoyed being around the younger generation, whether it was teaching them to hunt, drive, work, or play, he was always there to encourage them and make sure they stayed in line. He was a mentor and friend to many over the years earning him the title of "Uncle Thomas" to most that knew him.

Anyone that knew Thomas knew that his greatest accomplishment in life was his family. He was happiest when he was surrounded by all of his children and grandchildren. He did not believe in going anywhere he could not take his grandkids. "Papaw" was always quick to slip them a little money, make sure their gas tanks were full, and never forgot to tell them "I Love You".

When possible, Thomas loved to go on adventures with friends, riding his Harley Davidson.

Thomas loved his country and his flag.

Thomas is predeceased by his parents, Loyd "Dick" Runnels and Jimmie Earline Runnels and one sister, Barbara Jean Dowdy.

Thomas is survived by his wife of 43 years, Linda Faye Medders Runnels; son Kenny Runnels (Kim); daughter Jennifer Runnels Lloyd (Timothy); all of Cleveland, MS; daughter Kim Arbuckle Ennis (James) of Hernando, MS and son John Arbuckle Jr (Rhonda) of Risen, AR; Grandsons Trevor Runnels (Brittany), Austin Runnels, Tri Lloyd, Jack Lloyd, Blake Arbuckle, and Jon Arbuckle; granddaughters Bailey Runnels (Tayden), Addie Hawkins, Emie Lloyd, Madison Ennis Scholl (Tyler), and Jordan Ennis (David); great grandchildren, Brantley and Aubrey Arbuckle, and Mazie and Livie Arbuckle; sisters Betty Yates of Indianola and Laura Skelton (Mark) of Marshall, TX; one brother Loyd Runnels (Katherine) of Sarah, MS; and his beloved dog companion, Emma. Thomas is also survived by members of The Hays family who were more like his family than friends since childhood. There was a great reunion in heaven with his Hays Brothers that have gone before him.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Runnels, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

11:00am - 1:00 pm

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Celebration of Life

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm

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Graveside

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

2:00 - 2:30 pm

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