In Memory

Malinda Runyan

Malinda Runyan

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

07/26/15 12:48 PM #1    

Vicki Meece (Knowles)

Malinda married John Efroymson after college. She taught elementary school in Ithaca, NY, and enjoyed acting in local theatre productions. She died in the crash of a small plane near Montreal at age 39 in 1987. Her twin, Margery (Ph.D., LCSW), founded the Timeless Twins Support Group and has a practice dedicated to grief counseling in twin loss ( and


07/27/15 02:09 PM #2    

Bob Greenberg

I just visited that website. Very impressive and moving.  I'm sending to my sister (Class of 68) for my twin niece & nephew.  I've often thought of how "Dr Mercy" could possibly have dealt with such grief.  Damn if she didn't turn it into something meaningful and important to the world.  A big button buster for another distinguished Bulldog 66.  

03/05/16 10:44 PM #3    

Ted Laux

I was a TV repairman in the 1980s working out of my home, so I often had several TVs running at once. One afternoon a TV was tuned to a weekly local cable radical alternative news show ("More Than the News" or something like that) that was co-hosted by socialist Ben Nichols who later became Ithaca's mayor. I wasn't actually watching the show, it was playing in the background, but I was startled to hear the woman co-host sign off as "Malinda Runyan".

I figured there can't be that many Malinda Runyan's, but looking at her on a low-definition TV screen 21 years after I last saw her, I couldn't be sure. Old 1966 HMHS student newspapers said she would be attending Wells College, about 20 miles up the road from here. I was soon convinced it was the Malinda I knew from HMHS.

I started to watch the show faithfully. Being liberal myself, I thought it was a great show. Malinda did a very good job.

I thought about contacting Malinda for the fun of it. She lived on Cayuga Street, a major Ithaca road that I travelled regularly. Although I had some classes with Malinda and Margery at HMHS, I didn't really know them very well, and possibly never had a conversation with them. So I never contacted her.

One July afternoon I turned on the TV eagerly awaiting the start of Malinda's show. But instead of the show, there was simply the full-screen message "More Than the News will not be shown today because of the death of Malinda Runyan".  Wow, that was quite shocking and distressing to see.

I learned that she had been killed in a small-plane crash in Canada where she had been vacationing with her parents. The other three plane occupants seemed to have survived relatively unscathed.

I attended a local service that week for Malinda that was well-attended by many well-known local residents. I recall several eulogies, but the one that stands out was by her father. I still remember much of his talk; it still makes me sad.

Following the service, I attended a reception. I recall talking briefly to Malinda's mother about HMHS, though she was clearly having a lot of trouble dealing with her trauma. I sat outside and talked to Margery for over 30 minutes about HMHS and things. It was an interesting conversation, but not particularly happy considering the circumstances.


03/06/16 12:31 PM #4    

Dennis Hartigan

From Margery Runyan:

I am not sure how I survived Malinda's death.  Most of the next few years were spent in suicidal thoughts and deterioration into alcoholism  I worked for the State of New Jersey and lived in Secaucus on the Hackensack River at Harmon Cove for 28 years, rising up the ranks and eventually working for the Commissioner of Human Services for 15 years.  I married Hank Walker my long term lover and he became severely alcoholic.  He is dead now at 62 from a massive heart attack.  I had divorced him after many years spent at our beautiful mountain house in Durango, CO which we built on Feng Shui, sacred geometry, and Frank Loyd Wright prairie house design.  I am standing here now looking out over 50 acres of Ponderosa Pines.  I also have a home in Florida on Pine Island west of Cape Coral on the Gulf.  I have busy psychotherapy practices in both locations and help lots of twins.  I am going to leave a legacy to Malinda to support counseling for twins and twin registries possibly in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  I had a radio program Twin Talk for several years which you can find on the web site  I also wrote my dissertation for my PhD on the dreams of identical twins Do Twins Dream Twin Dreams?  Contact me if you want a copy.  Advisors said they will never think the same about twins again after reading it.  Four yeaers ago Dennis Hartigan called me after Barry suicided.  Gale Butcher gave him my number.  Believe it or not, we decided to twin together and have had a successful, loving relationship since then.  Dennis lost Barry more recently.  I have grieved Malinda for 28 years. I can still sense her as if it were yesterday.

go to top 
  Post Comment