Cover photo for Patricia D. Runner's Obituary
Patricia D. Runner Profile Photo
1939 Patricia 2023

Patricia D. Runner

August 8, 1939 — September 4, 2023

Patricia (Dawson) Runner, 84, of Tiverton, RI, died peacefully on September 4, 2023, with her family by her side. A retired longtime Tiverton teacher, she was the wife of Joseph T. Runner.
Born in Lewiston, ME, August 8, 1939, Pat was the daughter of the late Charles R. and Dorothea (Lockard) Dawson. She leaves her husband Joe of 62 years. She also leaves her children, Jeffrey T. Runner, (Javier Bautista) of Irondequoit, NY, Ronald R. Runner, of East Providence, RI, and Sarah B. Runner, (Curtis Penney) of Pittsfield, NH. Pat was the grandmother of Lily Pavao (Nic Dion), John Pavao, Brendan Runner and Nora Runner. She was the sister of John Dawson, (Marilyn Edelhoch) of Columbia, SC and the late Sarah M. (Dawson) Merchant, (Robert); she was the sister-in-law of Bonnie Runner and Robert J. Merchant, Jr., and an aunt to Mark Runner, (Carla), Terri Runner, Dodi Runner Netzel, (Quinn), John C. Merchant, (Jaime), Zoe (Dawson) Anderson, (Riley), Hannah (Edelhoch) Ritchie, (Michael) and the late Robert J. Merchant III. She also leaves many grand-nieces and nephews.
Raised in New York City and Leonia, NJ, Pat graduated from Leonia High School in 1957, from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio with a BS in Education in 1961, and Rhode Island College with a master's in early childhood education in 1976.
After Pat and Joe married in 1961, Joe received his first post as a young minister in Brentford and then later in Lake Preston, South Dakota. It was there that Pat began her long career as a teacher. After the family returned to the East Coast in 1970, Pat became a well-loved teacher in Tiverton teaching kindergarten and first grade at Nonquit and Fort Barton Schools for the rest of her career, retiring in 1999.
Pat's life was enriched by the church, beginning at the Leonia Methodist Church, and throughout her time in South Dakota at the Brentford United Church of Christ and the Lake Preston United Church of Christ. She was a member of Amicable Congregational Church in Tiverton during the 1970's and early 1980's; after which she joined Joe at the United Congregational Church in Middletown where she remained for the rest of her life.
Music played a significant role in Pat's life. In addition to singing in church choirs and community choruses, and using music in the classroom, she also directed the junior choir at Amicable, and joined Joe and later was joined by son Ron as long-time members of the Providence Singers.
Pat made many lifelong friends through the communities she and Joe were part of. These include the church communities, the Providence Singers, and the Sakonnet Striders (Joe running, Pat socializing). Additionally, Pat spent many years as part of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, associated with the Middletown United Congregational Church, where she and her friends knit prayer shawls that comforted others in need.
In addition to singing and knitting, Pat enjoyed reading, birdwatching and walking for fun and exercise, but most importantly spending time with her family. Her "happy place" was Mirror Lake in Wolfeboro, NH where she and her family spent many fun-filled summer vacations.
Relatives and friends are invited to calling hours on Friday, September 08, 2023, from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM in United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Road, Middletown, RI. Burial will take place at Pocasset Hill Cemetery, Tiverton.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 931 Jefferson Blvd., Ste 3004, Warwick, RI 02886
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Patricia D. Runner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 8, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, March 16, 2024

United Congregational Church

524 Valley Road, Middletown, RI 02842

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree