Billie Gene “Bill” Russell, 61, of Keokuk, passed away on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at Fort Madison Community Hospital in Fort Madison, Iowa.
Bill was born on April 3, 1959, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Mary Alice Groves, and was raised by Thelma and Harry Russell. On December 12, 1987, he was united in marriage to Julie Russell in Oelwein, Iowa. They were later divorced.
Bill was employed as a truck driver for many years, and later worked at Conagra Foods in Montrose. He was known for his great sense of humor, and his signature laugh was immediately recognizable. Bill knew how to tell a great story, and never let anything go to waste. Over the years, Bill started many car repair projects that he always swore he would finish (one day). In his free time, he enjoyed shooting pool and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He loved watching old western movies, especially those starring John Wayne. Bill lovingly referred to his grandchildren by their birth order number, often to the confusion of their parents. He had a wonderful personality and will be missed by all.
Bill is survived by three sons: Chris (Chelsie Runge) Happs, Zachary (Carly Quesenberry) Russell and Jason Cravens, all of Keokuk; his daughter Shy (Jeremy) Matlock of Keokuk; ten grandchildren: Aaron, Ashton and Zeke Happs, Chloe Durham, Rylee, Paisley, Avery and Zander Matlock, and Kamden and Bentley Russell; three brothers: Steve, Junior (Anna) and Everett Russell, all of Keokuk; two sisters: Rose Vradenburg and Grace Russell, both of Keokuk; and four of his best friends: Frank Hall, Dyas Yancey, Rob Wrieden and Lester Cooper. Other survivors include many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents: Thelma and Harry Russell, his birth-mother Mary, and three siblings: Arthur “Bud” Russell, Charlie Russell and Joyce Jones.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, September 11, 2020, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home, 917 Blondeau Street, Keokuk, IA. For the safety of those attending, attendees are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Monday, September 14, 2020, at the Montrose Sandbar. For more information regarding the celebration of life, please contact the family.
Memorials may be directed to the family of Billie Russell.
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