Gary Kevin Russell
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Gary Kevin Russell , Age: 71
February 23, 1947 -- May 02, 2018

Kansas City golf courses will have a much better chance of growing untrodden grass as Gary Kevin Russell (Feb. 23, 1947-May 2, 2018), Lenexa, Kansas, at age 71, passed away peacefully at 4:50 a.m. at Westchester Village while being cared for in the advanced stage of ALS. The aggressively debilitating disease was first diagnosed months ago. Gary accepted his fate as he did with all things in life, with a mature faith in Jesus Christ.

Gary was born in Plattsburgh, NY to Earl E. and Merle E. Howe Russell. Gary grew up with two siblings, his older brother John C. Russell and His younger brother Jim W. Russell. He was raised in Prairie Village, KS, attended Shawnee Mission East High School, and graduated from Baker University (1969).

Gary was an avid horseback rider and trainer in his youth and was an instructor at Cheley Ranch near Estes Park, Colorado. In college, Gary was a disc jockey for the college radio station. It was at Baker University that he met his first wife Fran L .Russell, who gave Gary two sons, David W. Russell (1973) and Doug B. Russell (1975). The family moved to California in the mid ‘70s where Gary accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and also sported some very hip side- burns. It was not until Gary moved back to Kansas City in the early 80’s that he traded his sideburns in for a furry caterpillar moustache.

In Kansas City, Gary met Judy, his devoted and faithful wife of 32 years and mother of his step-children Boyd Shearon and Victoria (Vicki) Shearon. Gary and Judy took their marriage vows seriously and Judy was quoted in the midst of Gary’s struggle with ALS, “through thick and thin, til death do us part”. Gary, a man of few words and in good humor simply said, “Yes”.

Gary was in the insurance business for 23 years until he went to work for American Century Investors in the late 80’s and also shaved his moustache. Gary and Judy attended a few churches and Bible studies until finding their church home, Colonial Presbyterian, 18 years ago. It was at Colonial where Gary established many lasting and memorable relationships with friends that shared his same interests, namely a passion for studying God’s Word and golf. It was at Colonial that Gary met Bob Houston, and the two were known for doing some inner-city volunteer work. He also met Jim Goodnow at Colonial Church, his longtime golfing buddy.

After retiring from American Century, Gary took up playing golf all over Kansas City, and also some of the famous courses in Scotland. When he wasn’t golfing with Jim or his other buddies, Gary would spend time reading the Bible and in fellowship with his friends, most notably from Gary and Judy’s Life Group every Wednesday night. Surely, Gary has one of the most worn-out pair of golf shoes and Bibles in the Kansas City area. Gary was also known well for his diligence in prayer for everyone he met, that they might know the saving grace and love of Christ Jesus, that their faith would stay strong, and they would be welcomed for eternity into the house of the Lord.

He prayed for his brothers John (Julie) and Jim. He prayed daily for his son David, daughter-in-law Liz and grandchildren Billy and John Henry. He prayed for his other son Doug and granddaughter Hailey, as well as Hailey’s mother. He prayed for his step-daughter Vicki and her two boys Porter and Declan as well as their father Dave. He prayed for his step-son Boyd and wife Michelle and their children Chloe, Mia, and Liam, and for their future spouses as well. Gary prayed for everyone he met, that they would come to know the love of the Lord. Our hearts, our church, and our golf courses will all miss Gary as he waits for us with Bob, Jim, and Jesus “at home.” It is well with his soul.

A Celebration of Gary's Life will be held Monday, May 7, 2018 at 11 AM at Colonial Presbyterian Church, Quivira Campus, 12501 W. 137th, Overland Park, KS. (Condolences may be expressed at: Arrangements: Porter Funeral Homes & Crematory, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS


Lovell Cossins May 04, 2018

Travel Consulant Kansas City , Missouri

Judy...There is really not anything anyone can say to make the hurt go away and bring your Gary back. I know you two were so close as my husband and I were. I will be praying for you and your family. Lovell

John and Regina Cisternino May 04, 2018

Friends Overland Park , Kansas

We are very sorry to learn about Gary's passing. We know that God chose this time for Gary to join Him. We must console ourselves with the knowledge that Gary is walking with our Lord. As for us, know that you, yours and ours are always in our prayers. With love, John and Regina

Paul and Linda Marek May 04, 2018

Family friend Omaha , Nebraska

Judy and all. So very sad about Gary's passing. I know he gave the good fight. I was golfing yesterday and thought of Gary as I measured my five foot birdie put. I like to think he would have made it, instead my effort lipped out. Love and peace, Paul and Linda

Amy Yeager May 05, 2018

Mom of Hailey Russell Olathe , Kansas

Sending love and prayers. Amy Yeager

Anne and Ian Toms May 05, 2018

Friends Angmering, United Kingdom ,

Judy - sending to you and your family our sincere condolences at your sad loss. Sending love and prayers across many miles.

Steve Spinelli May 06, 2018

Co-Owner of The Golf Club of Kansas Lees Summit , Missouri

Gary was always know as #1, as he was our first and most loved member when we first opened in August of 2008. His love of the game was genuinely contagious and fun. I was fortunate enough to get to know Gary personally as well as a valued and precious member. He was a VERY PROUD and God fearing man. No matter the challenge he always had a positive thought to keep him focused on his mission in life, family and fun. He will truly be missed! God Bless him and his wonderful family !

Ann Lintecum May 07, 2018

friend Prairie Village , Kansas

Condolences to everyone in the Russell family. Gary was such a sweet person. I always enjoyed seeing him with Judy at our office functions.

Lori Sommerfeld May 09, 2018

Enter your relationship with Gary Kevin Russell Shawnee , Kansas

Judy, so sorry for you loss. Gary was a great man and will be missed by all. Hugs to you! Lori