Judge Audra Wesley Runnels

Judge Audra Wesley Runnels, age 90, passed away peacefully from cancer, on April 25, 2023, surrounded by family in his home in Cleveland, Texas. Audra was born October 17, 1932, to parents, Gladys Cooke and Ben Elmer Runnels in McAllister, Oklahoma. Audra was a wonderful friend, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather to many.

He will be fondly remembered for his positive outlook, generosity, loving God and family. Audra was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and Ben, 5 brothers, Gerald, Lloyd, John, Leo, and Michael, daughter Robin Blake, first wife Cholla, and grandson Brant Runnels.

He is survived by his present wife Karen, sons, Wade Runnels, Theron Runnels, and Jeremiah Runnels, daughter Gianna Holle and stepdaughter Jennifer Pearson. He has been blessed with 14 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Audra served proudly in the US Navy From 1951 to 1959, as a Navy photographer and played basketball on the US Navy team. When Audra transitioned to civilian life, he became a professional photographer and photographed many of the top Houston society members and local and visiting celebrities. He also began a new career as a photographer and fingerprint specialist with the Houston Police Department.

While working for the department, he continued his education and earned his bachelor of science degree in Psychology from the University of Houston. After serving 29 years with the Houston Police Department, he retired in 1986 as the administrator of the Identification Division. After retirement from HPD, he took on the job of deputy in the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department and later served on the bench, as a judge for the Cleveland Municipal Courts. It was there that he earned the nickname of “Judge” to many.

Audra was an active member of Gideons International, local chapter, for more than 10 years and enjoyed spreading the word of God and distributing bibles to those who want them and those that didn’t know they needed them. He was an active member of Cornerstone Church in Cleveland.

There will be a memorial service, May 13, Saturday, 11 a.m., at Cornerstone Church in Cleveland. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be given to Gideons International, PO Box 2066, New Caney, Texas 77357

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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