Carnations 5

C. Ella Munn

February 21, 1927 ~ January 17, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

C. Ella Munn Obituary

Charlene Ella (Bronson) Munn, 96, formerly of Hillsdale, Coldwater, Spring Arbor, and Parma, entered the Lord’s rest on January 17, 2024, at her Arbor North home in Jackson, MI, with her daughter and grandson by her side.  Born at home in Wamac, IL, on February 21, 1927, she was the daughter of Albert and Edith (Sanders) Bronson. 

Ella grew up with six sisters and one brother.  She graduated second in the class of 1944 from Centralia Township (IL) High School, and the top of her class in the commercial courses of typing and shorthand. Some of Ella’s sisters convinced her to take a two-week vacation to Michigan and visit them while they worked as artists at the Munn Art Studio in Hillsdale, producing Scene-O-Felt Christian visual aids. Not gifted artistically, Ella was hired to help in the studio’s busy office and was asked to continue working there; two weeks grew to two years.  She then studied for a year at Greenville College (IL) and returned to Hillsdale “for the summer,” little knowing that Michigan would become her permanent home.

Ella’s intelligence, sweetness, beauty, wit, and soft southern-Illinois accent were quickly noticed by her bosses’ son, Harold, Jr., who had just established Twin Valley Broadcasting and radio station WTVB / WANG in Coldwater.  Ella and Harold were married on December 19, 1949, and moved to Coldwater the following summer. Ella became the accountant for the radio station, and then became Harold’s executive secretary after he began his consulting radio engineering business out of their apartment in 1950.

Ella would describe herself as very shy, but she was not too shy to learn new things.  She taught herself to play the piano in her childhood home and later learned to play organ and regularly played for services at the Coldwater Free Methodist Church, where she and Harold were members and very involved in leadership.  She also served as hostess for many home-cooked meals when church guests were in town as well as for large family gatherings.  Ella learned IBM billing programming in 1959 and learned to use a desktop computer for word processing and bookkeeping in the 1980s.  She never learned to swim, however.

Following retirement, Ella and Harold moved to the Parma and Spring Arbor areas and joined the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church.  They traveled extensively within the U.S. and Europe and cruised to foreign lands.  Ella enjoyed cooking, counted-cross-stitching, watching the Detroit Tigers, and began making photo albums of her family until Alzheimer’s Disease took away those abilities.  She retained her memory of her family’s names throughout her long illness.

Ella chose to receive Christ as her Savior at the age of 17 and lived a life of faith for nearly 80 years.  Her children remember scenes of her kneeling by her bedroom chair, praying for her loved ones.  Her sweetness, willingness to help, and grateful disposition were hallmarks of her life and evidence of all the fruit of the Spirit.  Ella embodied Philippians 4:4-8, Galatians 5:22-23, and Proverbs 31:10-31.

Ella is survived by her children Derwin (Patti) Munn of Spring Arbor, Douglas (Jerri) Munn of Jackson, and Renée (Daniel) Runyon of Spring Arbor; grandchildren Heidi (Hunter) Cole, Kenton Munn, David (Kristin) Runyon, Kirby Runyon, and Caleb (Bethany) Runyon; great-grandchildren Ashton, Tye, Alyssa, Sadie, Owen, Tabitha, Caroline, and Esther; and many nieces and nephews.  Ella was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, E. Harold Munn, Jr.; her parents; siblings Edith, Irene, Lorene, Mildred, Charles, Viola, Dorothy, and Virgina; and her son-in-law, Kirk Lavrack. 

A celebration of her life will be held February 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel of The Arbor Church, 120 E. Main St., Spring Arbor, MI, visitation beginning at noon, with the Rev. Mark Van Valin officiating.  Interment will take place at Spring Arbor Township Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Blue Ridge Broadcasting, an arm of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for which Ella and Harold provided more than 50 years of faithful service:  P.O. Box 159, Black Mountain, NC 28711; 1-800-330-9648.  Please specify for Ella Munn memorial.


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February 12, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
The Arbor Church
120 E. Main Street
Spring Arbor, MI 49283

Celebration of Life
February 12, 2024

1:00 PM
The Arbor Church
120 E. Main Street
Spring Arbor, MI 49283


Blue Ridge Broadcasting. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
P. O. Box 159, Black Mountain NC 28711
Tel: 1-800-330-9648


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