American Veteran 01

Russel Neil Kime

February 15, 1931 ~ February 23, 2021 (age 90)


After 9 decades, 1 week, 1 day, Russel Kime left our presence. Born Feb 15, 1931.  Passed Feb 23, 2021.  The Last of ten siblings to leave, he leaves multiple nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and a wife of 56 yrs to carry on life.

Russ asked to be cremated & did not want a fuss to be made about his passing from this life.  Thus no formal services are planned.

Russel N. Kime was born, at his parent's home, in the small community of North Liberty, Indiana on February 15, 1931 to Elroy & Marie Kime.  Russ was blessed to be born into a large family, being the seventh of ten offspring  (eight brothers & two sisters).

Russel was predeceased by his parents, all nine of his siblings (Donald, Earl, Carl, Evelyn, Howard, Arthur, Dennis, Clarice, Elvin), as well as several of his nieces & nephews, and one foster son.  Russel is survived by his wife, Joy, as well as Russ's three sons (Jerry, Dennis, & Nathan [wife Betsy]), grandchildren Courtney [husband Jeff] & Dan, four great-grandchildren (Jack, Luke, Ella, & Nathaniel), Russ's two step-sons (Jerry Auer [wife Anette] & Michael) and their children & grandchildren,19 nephews & nieces, seven foster sons & foster daughters, one German exchange student, & many friends.

Russel, Russ, Russy, Dad, Pops, Grandpa, uncle Russ were some of the names we called him.

Russ was always active both as a hard worker to support his family and as an enthusiastic volunteer to serve nation & community.

From pre-teen years Russ could be found helping in the mechanic's shop where his father worked. By mid-teen years Russ held a paying job at the shop.   Indeed this man kept steady employment from his teens until well into his seventies.  Even after formal retirement he continued to maintain a commercial driver's license into his eighties.

This meant that as an eighty-something man he contInued to drive a tractor-trailer (big rig) for Mitler Racing to transport up to five vintage exotic race cars (think Ford GT, Ferrari, Birdcage Maserati, etc) at a time between South Bend, Indiana & racetracks in  Elkhart Lake (Wisconsin), Sebring (Florida), & Laguna Seca (Monterrey, California).

At various points in his life Russ served as mission volunteer (with Mennonites & The Church of the Brethren), Navy Corpsman, city policeman, sheriff's deputy, state correctional officer, volunteer firefighter, service station co-owner, tow-truck driver, stock-car driver (that is - racer mostly for kicks, not money), farmer (one of his favorite, but least lucrative endeavors), special Olympics volunteer, Lighthouse homeless shelter volunteer.

He also worked as a construction clean-up guy, delivery truck driver, long haul trucker, mechanic (perhaps the work at which he was most masterful) heavy equipment operator, & heavy equipment salesman (possibly his best paying, but least favorite job). 

Russ loved America.  He was proud of his service in the US Navy.  After his service in the Navy Russ stayed involved with the VFW.  And he enjoyed serving as an officer in his local chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Almost anyone who knew him would describe Russ as a fun, out-going, likable guy who essentially never knew a stranger.  He would strike up a friendly conversation with folks he would encounter whether he was running errands or travelling across the country. One of life's pleasures for him was to "shoot-the-breeze" with someone.  And he always had stories & jokes to share.  More importantly, Russ also developed many strong long-term friendships, mostly with folks who could accurately be described as "salt of the earth."  Some of these friendships have endured four or five decades or longer.  Over the years some people have commented that a person "could not have a better friend" than Russ Kime.

Russel never fulfilled his long-time dream of sailing his sailboat around the world, but in midlife he reveled in sailing Lake Michigan with Joy in their sailcraft with invited family & friends.  Likewise, from his youth Russ developed a lifelong passion for riding horses.  In his last decades he enjoyed taking his horse & joining in group trail rides.  Also later in life Russ found contentment in taking daily long walks with Joy and their dogs down their quiet country road.

By God's grace & Russ's determination, over the years Russ survived two prior bouts with cancer,  but the third bout provided a double punch that proved too much for his 90 year old body.

Russ was both sinner (by his own admission) and saint (by God's grace).  Russ did not push his spiritual beliefs on others as he was a man of quiet prayer.

Many of us who were blessed to know Russ, confess to believe, as he appeared also to believe, in the gospel message of God's redeeming grace, through Christ, and the promise of life everlasting with Him. 


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