Russell Raymond Kennison, age 96, of Jefferson City, MO, passed away Saturday, May 11, 2019.
He was born September 9, 1922, in Palmer Lake, CO and was the only child of Ray and Ople Wells Kennison.
Russell married the love of his life, Ruth Irene Heidbreder, on July 17, 1949 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Stringtown. She preceded him in death, August 16, 2001.
Russell grew up in Independence and Jefferson City and graduated from Jefferson City High School class of 1940. He was industrious and worked a variety of jobs in his youth, as service station attendant, mechanic, cook, soda jerk, and beer deliveryman. He attended Jefferson City Junior College two years until drafted into the US Army. After basic training, he was transferred to the United States Army Air Corp. He served as a crew chief/mechanic on a B-24 training in Mississippi and Florida. In 1945 he served on Tinian, Mariana Islands, in the Pacific Theater. He remained there into 1946 for the deconstruction of the airfield. He served his country four years.
Upon his return he found employment May 1946 as a civilian employee with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He had a variety of duties including fingerprint and crime lab technician and teletype operator. In 1947 he was commissioned a trooper and trained with the 1948 recruit class. He remained attached to General Headquarters. He was a first responder to the famous 1954 prison riot. He retired in 1982 as a Captain overseeing the Finance and Supply Division.
Russell enjoyed collecting marbles, coins, and stamps and was an avid reader. He league bowled for many years at Kiwi Lanes. He had a love of flying and held a pilot's license. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He and Ruth constructed a cabin at the end of Horseshoe Bend on Working Man's Cove at Lake of the Ozarks beginning in the 50"s. Together they hosted many friends and relatives on weekends forming great memories. They enjoyed travelling the U.S. Atlantic City and Vegas were favorite destinations.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Baysinger/Sone Post 1003, the American Legion, Roscoe Enloe Post 5, and the MASTERS. Russell's favorite passion was spending time with and spoiling his children and grandchildren. He was a quiet and true gentleman.
Survivors include: children, Russell (wife Susie) Kennison II of Moberly, MO and Rita (husband Robin) Leipard of Lake Tapawingo, MO; grandchildren, Gina (Matt) Carlson, Amy (Cody) Sly, Capt. Brian Kennison (Kate), US Army, and Tanna Leipard; great grandchildren, Kinsey Rae Sly, Claire Elise Sly, and Benjamin Ray Carlson; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Samuel Powell officiating. Graveside services with military honors will follow at Riverview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the Central Missouri Honor Flight or the MASTERS which benefits survivors of Missouri Highway Patrolman who die in the line of duty.
To send flowers to the family of Russell Kennison, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.