Catlin – John A. Russell, 96, long prominent Catlin businessman and Township official, passed away at 1:30 a.m. Thursday (Nov. 15, 2012) at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville.
He was born April 15, 1916, in Taft, Calif., to Frank and Florence N. Busby Russell. John married Lois Spesard on Sept. 5, 1941, in Kankakee, Ill. Lois passed away Jan. 20, 2007. Survivors include two daughters, Bonnie (Jim) Kight of Williamsport, Ind., and Connie (John) Nicklas of Jamaica, Ill.; a brother, Ted (Norma) Russell of Frankfort, Ind.; two grandsons, Scott Nicklas and David Kight; and three great-grandsons, Noah Nicklas, Ethan Nicklas and Scott Nicklas. He was also preceded in death by a brother.
John was a graduate of Catlin High School and Utterback-Brown Business School, where he received a degree in accounting. He operated the Catlin Sinclair Service Station for 17 years. He served as Catlin village clerk for 40 years and Catlin Township clerk for 60 years. John served on the Catlin School Board as well as operating a license service selling hunting and fishing licenses as well as plates for cars.
He was a bookkeeper for Campbell's Disposal Service for well over 30 years. He was named Catlin Citizen of the Century by the Village of Catlin and also Catlin Lions Club Man of the Year in 1961. He was a member of the Illinois Association of Township Officials and Catlin United Methodist Church, where he served as church treasurer for 30 years. He was a member of the Catlin Historical Society and Catlin Masonic Lodge. Despite contracting polio at age 3, it never slowed his determination or spirit of achievement. John was honored by the Illinois House of Representatives for over 50 years of service to his community.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Catlin United Methodist Church with Bob Shafer officiating. Burial will be in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Robison Chapel in Catlin with Masonic Rites by Catlin Masonic Lodge at 6 p.m. Memorials may be made to Catlin United Methodist Church or Catlin Historical Society in care of Robison Chapel. Online condolences www.robisonchapel.com .