Obituary: Harold S. Runsvold Jr.

Claremont native, father, advocate for the disabled, lobbyist

Harold Sigurd Runsvold Jr. was born on June 25, 1935, in San Diego, California and died on July 8, 2022, in Nashville at the age of 87. He was predeceased by his parents Harold and Lucille Runsvold, and nephew Devin F. Brown.

Harold was raised in Claremont, where he attended elementary and high school, where he was student body president. He then attended Pomona College, graduating with a degree in political science. He then went on to earn his J.D. degree from Emory University in Atlanta.

In 1963, he entered the insurance risk management business, an occupation he would be involved in for more than 24 years, working for Allstate and Crawford and Company.

In 1999 he joined the Tennessee state government. This work involved advocating for parties subject to the TennCare program. Many of the people involved were nursing home residents. He retired from the state after nine years. He was a registered lobbyist in Vermont with efforts concentrated on services for disabled and handicapped individuals. He also was a lobbyist in Tennessee, primarily for the AARP organization and their legislative pursuits.

Runsvold served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a yeoman third class petty officer. He also served as a communicant at Calvary United Methodist Church in Nashville and was a participant in the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation in Plymouth, Vermont.

He was a dedicated father to son Philip, and husband for 60 years to wife Trish. He often brought his son to California to visit his extended family. As a parent of a disabled child, he advocated for services and education opportunities that would benefit his son, and aid in his development.

He was a man of service to his church, the disabled community, and services for the elderly through his role as a lobbyist for AARP. He will be missed by his family, church, and community.

He leaves his wife Trish; son Philip; brothers Charles and wife Pat, Tom, and wife Karen; sister Christine and husband Robert Mizuno; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Progress Inc., an organization that aids in the lives of disabled people, would be appreciated. Donations can be made at, or by check to Progress Inc., 317 Ezell Pike, Nashville, TN 37217.


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