Runelda Medrano (d. 2010)


Medrano, Runelda Passed away at 12:18 a.m. on April 16, 2010, having lost the bravely-fought battle against cancer. She was born in 1922 in River Rouge, MI of father Harry Hills and mother Viola Kleinow Hills, both deceased. Husband Joseph C. Medrano survives. Previous marriages were 1st Lt. Marine Air Force Alvin Harold Perry of River Rouge, deceased WWII, 6/ 1945. Newton W. Clark of Ypsilanti, died 2/1969. After divorce from Clark, and before his death, she married Joseph C. Medrano 3/1964. Runelda was a graduate of River Rouge High School class of 1940, active in Girls' Glee Club, National Honor Society and graduated as Jr. Executive from the Detroit Business University. Over the years she had been employed as secretary/accountant with business in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Whit-more Lake. She began her roller skating teaching career in figure skating, dance and free-style roller skating at Wells Roller Rink in River Rouge, before moving to Ypsilanti where she became the pro at the Imperial Roller Rink, later becoming owner with Newton Clark. She leaves four children - Linda Lamoreaux (Dale) of South Lyon, Nola Heatlie of Ypsi-lanti, Keith Clark of Loomis, CA, Laura Baker (Art) of Jackson, OH, and one stepson, Joseph B. Medrano of Garden City, nine descended grandchildren - Alissa Pelto, Jill Farmer, Philip Lamoreaux, Dennis Heatlie, Cassandra Carson, Kelly McLachlan, Kevin Bush, Brian Clark, Bradley Clark and Michael Symansic (Jenny). There are also 18 great-grandchildren. She and Mr. Clark had owned and operated the Imperial Roller Rink on Ecorse Road, Ypsilanti for nearly 20 years. She taught skating and had students in competition in both state and national competitions. She also presented costumed roller shows with skaters from the area ranging in age from 18 months to adult. She always referred to the skaters as "all her kids"! She married Joseph Medrano and moved to Ann Arbor. They became involved with the Ann Arbor Civic Theater where she was on the Board of Directors, active as assistant director for many live shows, stage manager and even as an actress. They also became interested in breeding and showing Saint Bernard dogs. They moved to Dexter where they had more room (at one time they had 17 dogs). They took many trips on their Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. They were a very active couple in the Dexter Kiwanis and were involved both on the State and International levels, attending many conventions in various states and countries. She became involved in Country Line Dance with the Pittsfield Seniors. She also served on the Board as General Treasurer for 8 years. Recently, travel had been her main interest including trips to many islands in the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, China, Fiji, Italy, England, France, Spain, Panama, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and over 20 cruises, as well as visiting in most of the states in the U.S. and enjoying local trips with the Pittsfield Seniors. Cremation has taken place. As per her specific desire, there will be no service but a memorial luncheon will be held at Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 14, 2010 to reminisce and celebrate her life. Please join us. Call 734-480-1516 by May 11, 2010 for reservation planning.


In December of ’62, The Grass Harp was presented, and it marked the beginning of two lengthy involvements with Civic Theatre. This was Runelda Medrano’s first job as Stage Manager at Ann Arbor Civic. As Runelda tells it, Ted Heusel told her she was going to be his SM: he didn’t ask her, he told her. This would be the beginning of a 20 year collaboration between the two of them.

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