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Russell W. Smith

Russell W. “Smitty” Smith, 87, passed away Thursday, March 13, 2014 at a family residence. Funeral services will be at 4:00 P.M. Monday, March 17, 2014 at the Schueneman and Tumbleson Funeral Home, Kewanee, Il. Pastor Paul Copeland of the First United Methodist Church of Kewanee will officiate. Visitation will be from 1:30pm to 3:30pm Monday at the funeral home. Masonic rites will be accorded at 3:30 P.M. Memorials may be made to Ryan's Round Barn at Johnson Sauk Trail State Park, First United Methodist Church or Illinois Cancer Care. Cremation will follow the services on Monday with inurnment at a later date in the Russian Cemetery in Kewanee. Military honors will be accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council at that time. Private online condolences may be shared with the family at www.schuenemantumblesonfuneralhome.com.
Russell was born August 18, 1926 in Kewanee, the son of Ernest and Charlotte (Minks) Smith. He attended Kewanee Schools. Russell married his "D-O double L" Frances Ptasnik in Kewanee on June 22, 1957. She survives along with three daughters, Lisa (Brad) Cohen of St. Paul, MN, Jodi (Denny Karau) Hanson of Neponset, Heidi Shimmin of Kewanee, and a son, Todd Smith of Kewanee, and 8 grandchildren Jessica Hanson, Sarah Hanson, Jacob Cohen, Jamie Cohen, Zakary Shimmin, Kyra Shimmin, Nichole Karau, and Joey Karau. He was preceded in death by siblings Harlie, Wyvil, Margaret (Van Pratt), Leroy, Louis, and Robert Smith.
Russell served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Phillipines, Tokyo and Okinawa. He received several decorations and citations including the Army of Occupation Medal Japan, Philippines Operation Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
He was employed by GTE, Henry County Highway Department, Illinois Department of Transportation and served as Kewanee Township Highway Commissioner for multiple terms. He was also a door greeter at Wal-Mart for many years. Additionally, he was an elected official to the Henry County Board for three terms with two terms as Chairman of the Transportation Committee.
He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, lifetime member of VFW, Past Master of Kewanee Masonic Lodge #159 A.F. and A.M., Royal Arch Masons and the Peoria Shrine, Past Patron of Harmony Chapter #43 OES, American Legion, Flemish American Club (Trustee), Burns Grange, Moose Lodge, Shrine Club, Henry County Farm Bureau, Kewanee Historical Society and lifetime member of FFA. He was a founding member and tour guide at Johnson Sauk Trail for Ryan's Round Barn for 30 years.
His hobbies included collecting padlocks, antiques and bargain hunting. Russell was a regular attendee and loyal fan at sporting events for his children and grandchildren. From ringing the bell at church to scooping ice cream at the ballpark. Russell had a deep commitment to his faith, family, friends and the community.

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