Allen Duane Russell
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Allen Duane Russell , Age: 86
June 18, 1930 -- May 10, 2017

Allen Duane Russell (Al, Skeet, Skeeter) passed away on May 10, 2017 at the age of 86. He was living at Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community in Overland Park, Kansas.

He was born on June 18, 1930 to George and Hazel Russell in Mattoon, Illinois. He is survived by daughter Eydie and her husband Ron Weiss of St. Louis, and son-in-law Bruce Steward, and grandson Russell Steward of Overland Park, Kansas.He is predeceased by his wife Janet and daughter Abby Steward.

During his time in Mattoon, Illinois, he worked in his parents grocery, Russell Grocery, for Monarch Service Station and for the Meadow Gold Dairy.

He attended Eastern Illinois University 1949-1951,where he played on the men’s tennis team. He then joined the U.S. Air Force in December 1951, serving for four years. He was stationed in New York, Delaware, Alabama, and Newfoundland. He returned from the military in 1954, attended Utterback Business College for a semester, then enrolled in Eastern Illinois University and completed his B.S. degree in business administration.

He met Janet L. Neihls while attending Utterback Business College and they were married December 29, 1955 in a funeral home in Beecher City, Illinois. Their first child, Eydie Jo, was born in Mattoon, Illinois in 1957. Shortly thereafter, he was employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service. They moved to Champaign, Illinois. He trained there for one year and was moved to East Lansing, Michigan where their second daughter, Abby Kay, was born in 1959.

He was promoted to the position of personnel director and was moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1961. They lived there until 1973 when they were moved to Benton, Arkansas, where he became state administrative officer for the Soil Conservation Service until he retired in June 1985.

Soon after retirement, he purchased a wholesale medical business, specializing in orthopedic supplies, and operated that business until 2008. Janet, his wife of 51 years, died in December of 2007. He continued to live in Benton, Arkansas until 2015, when he moved to Overland Park, Kansas.

He had many interests in life. He was very active in sports throughout his entire life. He played basketball, handball, racketball, ran in many races, walked many miles, played ping pong and tennis, watched many games on tv and worked jigsaw puzzles. He loved the outdoors, working in his yard, and feeding and watching the birds. He enjoyed classical music and rock collecting. He wrote poetry, read many westerns, and enjoyed making photo albums of his family and friends. He was known as the frog man, handing out tiny plastic frogs to everyone. His favorite restaurant was Cracker Barrel.

He was proud that his daughters and son-in-laws all graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Both he and his wife felt that their life was complete and fulfilling with the birth, growth, and development of their two daughters. An informal graveside service will be held at Dodge Grove Cemetery in Mattoon, Illinois, at a later date not yet decided.

Condolences

Sandra and Leland Wright May 12, 2017

Duane Russell was my Uncle El Paso , Texas

Eydie, Ron , and family A sadness in our family to hear of your Dad's death. He leaves a special place in my heart Our thoughts and prayers are with you all Sandra and Lee


Barry Russell May 13, 2017

Nephew Mattoon , Illinois

Sad to hear about Uncle Duane . My thoughts and Prayers to Eddie and family. He was a special man. I will always remember what he done for conservation. Barry Wayne


Lisa Bridges May 13, 2017

Friend Benton , Arkansas

F.R.O.G. Faithfully Rely on God Cracker Barrel in Benton, Arkansas displays your memorabilia forever, I will visit your wall display when I go in. Rest in Love my Friend


Roger G Perkins May 13, 2017

long time friend of Skeet and Janet Fishkill , New York

We are saddened by the news of Skeet's passing. Skeet and Janet were long time friends for many years. Janet and I were close friends by virtue of living in Beecher City, Illinois and long time family ties. May he rest in eternal peace. Love, Roger and Karen Perkins Kris Perkins


J J May 13, 2017

Enter your relationship with Allen Duane Russell Enter your city ,

Allen added joy and a smile on every person's face he met. May the blue bird of happiness always rest on his shoulder as he continues to hand out little frogs wherever he goes. Love and sympathy to his family.


Charlene Edwards May 13, 2017

Great neice Charleston , Illinois

I am so sorry for the loss of your dad Edyie Jo. He will be missed alot.


Donna Melton May 13, 2017

Uncle Mattoon , Illinois

So very sorry to here the sad news on uncle Duane. Great memory's of growing up with him. A great man and will be missed. Eydie , Ron, my thoughts are with you.


Jenny friendOsborn May 13, 2017

friend, Norma Bright was my aunt. Clay City , Illinois

Jack and I are so sorry for your loss. We stopped by with our 9 yr old grandson on our way to Durango, Colorado to ride the train. Had a short visit which we all enjoyed very much.


Donna Melton May 13, 2017

Uncle Mattoon , Illinois

So very sorry to here the passing of your father. I have great memory's growing up with him. So very sorry Eydie, Ron. My thoughts are with you.


David Lee May 14, 2017

Cousin Mattoon , Illinois

Very sorry to hear about Duane. He and my father, James Lee, were close. Dad always got a kick out of the elaborate Christmas and Birthday cards, "Skeeter" would send him. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.


Paul and Dana Breitweiser May 15, 2017

Friend and Neighbor Benton , Arkansas

Eydie, Ron, Russell, and Bruce, Allen was a special part of our lives for over 30 years. He and Janet not only made us feel welcome as neighbors on Melrose, but through the years became more like family and surrogate grandparents for our boys. They always had a watchful eye, and were quite tolerant of Mitch and Aaron when they would ride their bikes up and “visit.” Such fond memories are forever etched in our minds, and we have been so blessed to have been a part of their lives. More recently, we are so glad Allen was able to make the trip to Arizona with us in 2014. He and Paul had such a great time exploring the desert. Just like a couple of kids, they packed as much as they could into two or three days. And, after Allen’s move to Tall Grass, we are so glad we were able to come visit him several times while he was still feeling well. Allen was always Allen—no pretense, totally frank, and quite a prankster. And a big F.R.O.G. man. We will miss him. We hope sweet memories sustain you through the coming days, and you will remain in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Paul and Dana


Brad LaRue May 18, 2017

Friend Chanute , Kansas

I became antiquated with Allen when I went to Tallgrass for an extended in-patient physical rehab stay. Soon after I arrived, I met Allen at a meal and found him to be a delightful gentleman. He soon became a self-appointed cheerleader to check on my progress and urge me to continue to push hard to make a full recovery. Fortunately I did make a near complete recovery and returned home and work. My family and I travel from our home town to Overland Park for work and pleasure. Any time we could visit we would. Allen was always glad to see us. He became a dear friend and stayed that way until the end. I will miss him but my memories of Allen will remain precious.


Maureen Lehman May 21, 2017

Friend Leawood , Kansas

I had the extreme honor and pleasure of meeting Allen during my time spent at Tallgrass bring Holy Communion to the homebound parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel. Although Allen was not a parishioner, we became fast friends and would chat at every encounter. He was a lovely person. I do not know know Allen's faith, but pray he is sitting at Jesus' right hand! God Bless him!



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