Lylah Runingen Almon

LylahAlmon_webLylah Jean Runingen Almon, originally from Houston, Minn., died peacefully at her Laguna Woods, Calif. home the morning of Feb. 5, 2013 at the age of 86.

Lylah was born April 18, 1926. She had a simple upbringing. She was raised on a small family farm in Houston along with her brothers, Reginald and Glen, and two sisters, Judy and Gladys (Glenn Meiners). When Lylah was four years old, her mother died and her Aunt Belle stepped in to help raise the five children. At an early age, Lylah learned to milk cows, make soap and bread, and tend to dispatching the chicken for Sunday dinner.

Lylah attended a one-room schoolhouse where she skipped seventh grade after listening closely to what the older kids were learning. She was her high school’s very first majorette, leading the Houston High School Marching Band. And yes, the band did play the trick on her by turning right while she kept twirling and walking straight ahead. And it was with a majorette’s sense of direction that Lylah knew where she was going in life and what she wanted.

“I’m going to leave the farm, become a nurse, and marry a doctor,” she told her sister, Gladys, as a young girl. And that’s what she did.

Lylah left the farm after graduating salutatorian from her high school, and attended Mounds-Midway Nursing School in St. Paul, Minn.

Upon graduation, she hopped on a train to San Francisco, and took a job at the U.S. Public Health Hospital working in surgery. There she met her husband of over fifty years, Dr. David Almon. From 1954 to 1966, Lylah and her growing family lived in Claremont, Calif. before moving to Laguna Beach, California in 1966. For the next 27 years, Lylah and David worked side by side at his Newport Beach pediatric office.

Above all, Lylah was a caregiver. She took care of people. She volunteered. She was PTA President at El Morro Elementary School, treasurer of her homeowners association in Irvine Cove, and member of the Queen of Hearts Guild at CHOC Children’s Hospital.