Ronnie Dean Runyan

Ronnie D. Runyan, 76 of Raytown, Missouri passed away December 25, 2022.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday January 7th, 2023, from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM at Heartland Cremation and Burial Society in Raytown, MO. Social Gathering ~ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Family and Friends invited to share memories of Ronnie ~ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM. If you are unable to attend, you may view the service by click on the following link. Ronnie’s Celebration of Life

Rapid Ronnie Runyan born Ronald Dean Runyan in Ogallala, Nebraska on May 10, 1946. A curious child that loved following his dad everywhere, especially at the Chevrolet dealers service shop. The family left Nebraska for California when Ron was nine years old, changing his life from chasing lizards to playing in the streets of East LA. Ron was many things to many people, a son, a brother, friend, uncle, husband, father and grandfather. There are so many adjectives to describe Ron, kind, generous, friendly, modest, intelligent, inventive, humorous, and a strong sense of right and wrong. Not that he always did the right thing. His many accomplishments included professional Funny Car Driver, Trailer Manufacturer, V8 Motorcycle builder, metal fabricator, and pilot. He also loved fishing and water skiing. But most of all he loved being with family and friends sharing stories and having new adventures.



  1. Craig Richley on December 28, 2022 at 6:58 am

    Ron was a super great guy. I was privileged to spend much time with him in the last 17 years. He didn’t push his beliefs on me but he was straightforward when questioned. I learned a lot from him. I already miss him and it’s just getting started. I feel the worst for Pam. I know that leaving her is what Ron would be the saddest about.

  2. Shirley Martin on December 28, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I’m so sorry for the loss of a great guy. My God bless his loved ones with His peace and comfort.

  3. Marilyn Reck on December 28, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    I am sorry for the loss of great friend I will remember him being a wonderful friend to my brother Mike, my condolences to his wife and all the family, RIP sweet friend

  4. David Cole on December 28, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    My memories with Ron go from racing at the Noland road speedway,to repairing my trailer to looking at his termite problem at the shop and at his home ,and the Off motorcycle, so sorry to hear this sad news ?

  5. Dan Williams on December 28, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    I remember Ron flying into the airport nearly every Saturday for many years to attend the lunch cook. Ornery, sarcastic and witty every time. He was a special person with special talent. The real deal… Tailwinds Ron and my condolences to the family.

  6. Ron Penrose on December 28, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    I first met Ron at Lee’s Summit airport about 12 year ago. We had occasional conversations but what I remember most is Ron’s interest in me. He was always interested in my helicopter. Our last conversation a couple months ago was around cars. I learned the his earlier years passion for racing. Loved Ron…RIP

  7. Linda Nelson on December 28, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Ron and I reconnected at the reunions he was a great friend he will be missed.

  8. Nic Smith on December 29, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I remember a time I was laying under my son in laws funny car at KCIR. Suddenly I was being kicked in the leg by Rapid. He told me to hurry up and wipe that oil and nitro off my arms. He said it was addictive and if it got into my skin I’d never be able to shake the addiction. Dang if he wasn’t right. So sorry for your loss. He surely will be missed.

  9. Kathy Ramey on December 29, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Ronnie will be missed by Many. He fixed my trailers for many years and always did an Amazing job. I called him “The Wonderful Ronnie Runyan.” Because there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix.

  10. Dick Hime on December 30, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    Cessna 52158, you are cleared for the approach to Infinity. Thank you for flying with us and being a wonderful friend. Cherokee 9401L.

  11. Beth Glor Cooper on December 30, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Ronnie was truly amazing person with a great sense of humor & a strong streak of ornery in that huge heart of his. So many memories growing up across the street from him & Pam. I spent countless hours watching him work on Blue Hell. I was just a child but I enjoyed every minute of watching him work on the car & loved going with Pam to the drag strip to watch him race. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  12. Paul Blair on December 31, 2022 at 8:37 am

    I was lucky enough to know Ron because my hangar was next to his at the Lees Summit airport. We spent a lot of hours just sitting and talking about many different subjects. Believe me, Ron had a strong opinion on all of them. A great person and a friendship that I will always cherish.

  13. Chris Hargrove S/C 2766 on December 31, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    I remember Ronnie at Bristol in 1968. Lost a cylinder but gave it the old college try but redlighted. His tow truck had those Dixie Horns and played “See the USA in a Chevrolet” when they drove down the track to pick him up. One of the great, early Chevy guys.

  14. Dede McCarthy on January 1, 2023 at 10:52 am

    I remember Ronnie when we were in Carson High School. We lived in Victoria Park, Gardena then. He hung around Don Walters (my brother-in-law and Deiter Lange. He came to lots of the VP reunions. When you think of Ronnie you automatically see race cars, motorcycles, and planes. Condolences to his wife and family.

  15. Susie Arens on January 1, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    I met Ronnie at the Victoria Park Reunions.My late husband Mike Arens loved talking about their old days and hot rods.Ronnie enjoyed being with his old friends he will be missed.May he rest in peace.My condolences to his wife,family and friends.

  16. Kenny McFarland on January 2, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Ron took me for my first airplane ride over 30 yrs ago and it changed my life for ever.

    Ron was a master craftsman he loved his family, fast cars, motorcycles, airplanes and about anything with an engine.
    He also could debate any subject with the best of them

    He will be greatly missed.
    RIP Rapid Ronnie.

  17. Mary Ann Nevels on January 5, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    I have known Ronnie since I was a little kid. My Mom and Pam were best of friends. I will remember Ronnie for how much he could make people laugh. He was also so nice and kind. He will be missed. RIP Ronnie.

    Sending prayers and comfort to Pam and Rob.
    Mary Ann Nevels

  18. Mike Rigsby on January 6, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    I met Ronnie when I was 16 years old and he was 26. He was like my big brother! I learned so much from him and had so much fun going racing with him. We had many talks about every topic you could think of. He will be greatly missed ! My deepest sympathies to Pam and Robbie! May God give you strength and comfort!

  19. Larry Young on January 6, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    So sorry for your loss. A brick in honor of Ron will be placed in the EAA’s memorial walk at the Flag Pole at Lees Summit Airport.

  20. Larry Reyes on January 7, 2023 at 9:39 am

    Ronnie and Pam were close friends and I will never forget them following me to the hospital ER when I had my funny car crash. Rapid Ronnie continued to be a part of my life and we shared visits and long phone conversations over the years. He was an extremely talented person and never ceased to amaze me. Pam was the perfect wife for him. I am a better person for knowing them both. Larry Reyes

  21. Ruth Ann Kamke Reyes on January 7, 2023 at 9:48 am

    I met Ronnie and Pam after my marriage to Larry Reyes. Such wonderful visits and conversation about the racing days. Ronnie was a humble man not given to pride. One had to learn of all of his achievements from others. We all formed a deep bond that will never end. Our sadness of losing him will be tempered by our many memories made.

  22. Ed Arnold on January 7, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    Race in Peace my Brother Gone but never forgotten and in our Hearts forever ? ??

  23. Ed Arnold on January 7, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    Race in Peace my Brother Gone but never forgotten and in our Hearts forever

  24. Brandon Rudroff on January 7, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    I will always remember being a neighbor to Ron and Pam, the Halloween decorations, hearing the motorcycles go ride, seeing all of the memories and memorabilia, but I will never forget how Ron and Pam were more than just neighbors, they were family. They made sure to see me before I went to college, before I moved states, and it pains me knowing that Ron never got to meet my daughter. She will always look at Pam as family, as I will I. We love you very much.

  25. Mike DAddario on January 7, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    I first met Ronnie some 50 years ago. We used to race against him in the 60’s/70’s. I was best friends with his Brother Mike. Its a friendship that is still strong today. RIP Rapid, have a shot of Jack up there with Marv

  26. Donald Mills on January 8, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Ron was a great friends l remember the first time I met him I bought 2 trailers from him when we talked I found out we had something in common i was a pilot also over the last 20 years 4 trips with him to Oshkosh,rides at sturgis,was a very close friend will miss him dearly.

  27. Mike Runyan on January 9, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Like I said at Ron’s service, “we sure had fun”. It was evident by the many condolences and over 100 folks who joined to say so long Ronnie that he was truly loved. He was the brother that everybody wished they had and I was honored and lucky to have him as mine. On November 8 1968, he married the love his life Pam. Pam is a wonderful lady who kept him on the straight and narrow. When I heard from Pam that Ronnie had died she said he would say there were “no regrets”. I will sure miss my best friend

  28. Patty Runyan on January 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Pam, Rob, Truman and our brother Michael and all the friends that Ronnie left behind. I can not “wrap my mind” around a world with out my brother Ronnie. You never wondered what he thought, he told you often with humor. Like after my 3rd baby was born, he said “Have you discovered yet what is causing that?”
    The world was better with him in it.
    Rest in Peace our loved one.

  29. Roger on March 7, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Just heard the news.

    I run a trailer dealership here in KC. Ronnie stopped by about 6-7 years ago and introduced himself out of the blue.
    Engaging. Intelligent. Thoughtful.
    After chatting about nothing/everything for almost 45 min, he told me that he would send people my way for business.
    Anytime you work in sales, you hear that occasionally, but don’t think much of it.

    For the next 6-7 years, people would randomly stop in and tell me “Ronnie sent me”.
    I was blown away by the amount of people he sent our way.
    And he absolutely had no reason to. He didn’t want anything in return and he never once asked for a favor.
    Just old school integrity.

    I’m not going to pretend on new Ronnie well.
    But I wanted to let you know that he left an impression in the very short time I knew him.

    I wish you all strength.
    Condolences to your family.

  30. Danny Moore on March 7, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    RIP Ronnie
    Thanks for all the help with my trailers for the past 25 years and also for becoming a good friend.
    You will be missed !

  31. Carlos Padilla on August 14, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    I never met Ronnie in person but my father, also Carlos Padilla, was his engine mechanic for many years and my dad would tell me stories about their time on the road and the racing they did. My father passed away Dec 7th, 2018…hopefully the two of them are up above the clouds challenging angels to a dig! Thanks for your influence on my dad Ronnie, because of your all’s passion for racing I’ve also taken up the sport.

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