Prudence Mason Runyan, Advertising Executive, Dies at 72
Prudence Mason Runyan died on 25 January 2024 at her home in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. She was 72. Her family confirmed that she died less than two years after a diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
In 1980 in Philadelphia, Prudence began a career in marketing and advertising with Euro RSCG, G2 and Harte Hanks. She spent the last eight years of her career commuting to FCB Health New York, specializing in supporting marketing agencies to develop Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs. As a leader in the FCB office in New York City, she was considered a true partner, master of her craft, visionary and advocate. She became a Senior Vice President and retired in 2021. Colleagues say that their CRM practice would not be where it is today without Prudence’s wisdom and sense of humor.
Prudence was born on July 7, 1951 in Frankfort, Kentucky to Edna Henninger Mason and Franklin Chinn Mason. Her early years were marked by riding in American Saddlebred horse shows at county fairs and the World’s Championship Horse Shows at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, singing in the junior church choir, and performing in musicals.
Prudence attended Hollins College and the University of Louisville, then graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama in 1974. Soon after, she earned her Actor’s Equity card and moved to New York to become a professional actress. After several years, Prudence made her way back to Frankfort and took a job with the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Commerce. It was in Frankfort that she met her future husband, C. Stanley Runyan, a Kentucky native and an architect. They married in 1978 and their honeymoon took them to Japan where Stan had briefly lived as a child in Tokyo.
Prudence and Stan moved to Philadelphia in 1980 and established their home in Chestnut Hill, raising two children, Abbie and Ben. Prudence was dedicated in every way to maintaining a deeply loving and supportive home for her husband and children. She also shared her beautiful voice with the church choir at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, volunteered on several church committees, supported the Philadelphia Orchestra on the “Musical Cocktails” committee, and tutored children. Throughout her life she continued to find new avenues of creative expression, including trying her hand at comedy classes, learning to make jewelry, writing, and becoming an accomplished gardener. Prudence and Stan travelled extensively at home and abroad including many trips with the children back to Kentucky.
Prudence embraced grandmotherhood in 2013, finding joy in sharing her passions with her grandchildren, Jack Arlington, Eleanor Mason, and Charles Everett Romanul. A proud and doting grandmother, she delighted in teaching the kids to garden, organizing crafts, playing games, and traveling to Boston to help care for them at every opportunity, all while still balancing a demanding work schedule.
In 2020, Prudence reconnected with her estranged half-brother, Sam Mason of Shreveport, Louisiana, shortly before he fell ill. She worked tirelessly to find him the best care and living arrangements, planning from afar and making frequent trips to Shreveport. Soon after Sam’s death, Prudence was diagnosed with ALS in 2022. During her illness, she chronicled the childhood tales they had woven together in her book “Postcards from Spongolia: A Memoir About My Brother Sam Mason.”
Prudence will be remembered for her dedication to family, humor, easy-going nature, work ethic, passion for gardening and love of reading. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Stan Runyan of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, her daughter Abigail Romanul and son-in-law Devin Romanul of Melrose, Massachusetts, her son Benjamin Runyan of Philadelphia and her grandchildren: Jack, Eleanor and Charles Romanul of Melrose, Massachusetts.
Funeral services will take place on 17 February 2024 at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. A service and burial will take place in the Spring in the Frankfort Cemetery in Kentucky.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Bridging Voice (www.bridgingvoice.org), an organization that enables individuals living with ALS to better communicate through technology.