EUREKA – Robert “Bob” William Russell, 93, died at 7:25 p.m., Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Eureka.
He was born July 12, 1925, in rural Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, the son of Irving and Mildred Poole Russell.
Survivors include one son, James (Faith) Russell; one daughter, Susan (Dan) Wetherell; two stepsons, Thomas (Susan) Butler and John Butler; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and two special friends, Chuck Kennedy and Joyce Hoelzer who were “unofficially adopted” by the family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 47 years, June Russell, one son, William Russell, one daughter, Barbara Craven, one stepson, Patrick Butler, one stepdaughter, Aynne Mc Learen, and one brother, Stuart Russell.
Bob joined the Coast Guard at the age of 17 and served during World War II in the South Pacific. After his service, he finished up his secondary education at Elgin High School, Elgin, and attended Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago before he graduated in February of 1950. Dr. Russell, known as “Doc” during these years, practiced optometry for 37 years in Freeport, Quincy and Peoria before he retired in 1987. He then became a full-time farmer for 18 years near Elmwood. In Bob’s words, “Those were enjoyable years, out of the cave at last and in the sun!” Bob was an excellent sailor and hunter. He was also into fishing, mechanics and crafting. Bob was a member of Liberty Bible Church, Eureka, several fraternal organizations and historical societies as well as Elmwood American Legion Post No. 638.
Services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the church with the Rev. Dan Waller and the Rev. Tom Zobrist officiating. Visitation will take place Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11 a.m., both at the church. A private interment will follow the service in Elmwood Cemetery, Elmwood. Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Eureka is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Scottish Rite Valley of Peoria, 32nd Degree Learning Center, 400 NE Perry Ave., Peoria, 61603, the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, Attention: Ashley Ocasio, 425 Spring Lake Drive, Itasca, Ill., 60143-2076, or to any charity.