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Thomas Charles Runion, 91, of Pigeon Forge died Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Fort Sanders Regional Hospital.
Runion, also known as T.C. was born in Erwin. He graduated from Berea College. He served in the U.S. military, stationed in the 45th Chemical Laboratory in India during WW II. Following the war, he worked as a research chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He worked in atomic research at the National Lead plant in Fernald, Ohio.
He accepted a position with W.R. Grace Inc. as general manager and president of Nuclear Fuels Services. He was given the responsibility to find a suitable location for the first private nuclear fuel business and chose his home town, Erwin. A second plant for atomic waste recovery was built in New York.
After retirement from the home office in Washington, D.C., the family settled in Pigeon Forge in 1970, where he was honored to serve as city manager from 1971 to 1973.
Runion had his own consulting business and worked at Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant in disaster clean up. He built and ran Char Broiled Steak House which later became Runion’s Restaurant and he developed Broady Hills subdivision.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Ethel Peterson Runion and Dana H. Runion of Erwin; brothers: Bill Runion, Earl Runion; sister: Claudette Farnum; and brother in law: Frank Hensley.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Nan Whaley Runion; daughters: Dr. Linda Runion Josef and husband Dr. Stanley Josef of Hot Springs Arkansas, Danna Runion of Pigeon Forge, Dr. Nancy Runion of Sevierville, and Lori Runion Grant of British Columbia, Canada; brother: Harold Runion and wife Linda of Hendersonville, N.C.; sister in law: Gerry Runion of Saint Francisville, La.; grandchildren: Capt. Christopher Josef, Timothy Josef, Nora Belle Grant, Charlotte Grace Grant and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at 7 p.m., June 28, in the West Chapel of Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville, with the Rev. Ronald Blevins and the Rev. Dale Ellenburg officiating.
Atchley Funeral Home was in charge.