It is with deep sadness and regret that we must report on the passing of a valuable member of the pipe community. Well-known, respected and beloved by many, tobacco blender Bob Runowski passed last month on or about July 24. We just heard the news this afternoon and do not have many details, but wanted to let the pipe community know about this great loss. From some online research which has not been verified, it seems that Mr. Runowski was only 63 years old. We do not have a cause of death.
Bob Runowski’s name can be found on several popular tobacco blends produced by Cornell & Diehl, for which he was the blender. He worked with C&D for over 15-years and was a good friend of C&D owner Craig Tarlar. When we phoned C&D’s offices, Craig was not available to talk, so we briefly spoke to his son Chris. He told us that Bob was a great friend to the Tarlar family and C&D’s business. He was a wealth of knowledge regarding old time blends with an incredible ability to re-create them. He was especially an expert on Burley tobaccos. Bob suffered for years from wounds received in Vietnam, undergoing many operations, but never complaining. Runowski was a member of the Philadelphia Pipe Club and the Morley Club.
His obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer reads – July 24, 2011. Beloved husband of Catherine "Cass"; devoted father of Robert (Christy) and Andrew (Lauren); also survived by his brother, Bruce (Debbie); nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Mass, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Thursday, 10 A.M. Interment at the convenience of his family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s name can be made to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Memorial Fund, 2319 S. 3rd St., Phila. PA 19148.
We wish to express our deepest condolences to Bob Runowski’s family and friends.