Russell Leon Heindselman, 88, of LaGrange, died Monday evening, Aug. 8, 2016, as the result of an ATV accident at his farm.
Mr. Heindselman was born July 9, 1928, in rural Monticello, a son of the late Orville Pierce and Edith Mae Smith Heindselman. He was a 1945 graduate of Monticello High School and attended Culver-Stockton College. On Oct. 30, 1955, he married Phyllis Jeanne Keller, a daughter of Matthew and Dorothy Lucille Keller of Quincy, Ill., at Central Baptist Church in Quincy.
After his marriage he then went to work at Gardner-Denver Foundry in LaGrange. During that time he was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict. Russell did his basic training at Fort Bliss in Texas and was stationed on the East Coast. After being discharged from service he again returned to work at Gardner-Denver Foundry in LaGrange. Mr. Heindselman retired from Gardner-Denver Foundry in LaGrange in 1990 after 38 years of service.
He was a member of the LaGrange Lions Club and a 50-year member and past master of the Canton Masonic Lodge No. 257. Russell was a member and had served as a trustee of the LaGrange First Baptist Church. He also was a member of the Missouri Bluebird Society; and was a prolific writer and poet, writing under the nickname "Missouri Hillbilly Poet."
He was devoted to community service, providing various unique items for local benefit auctions. Russell was an avid conservationist, and hunting and fishing with his grandchildren were his passions in life. He was the founder of Valley Place Worm and Fish Farm, and his farm hosted summertime "fish days" where fish for stocking ponds were sold. His farm has been the place local fishermen have purchased bait for many years.
In most recent years he enjoyed gardening and was well known for his participation in the Farmer's Market in Quincy. There was never a dull moment in Russell's life as he loved to invent and tinker. He was a regular attendee of the senior dances in the area, was also a Science Fair judge for high school science fair competitions held at Culver-Stockton College, and was a great advocate for outdoor sports and enjoyed teaching youngsters how to build bluebird boxes. Russell enjoyed the fun in fishing and the fulfillment one could find in the beauty of the earth.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; their children, Gregory Allen Heindselman (Melinda) of LaGrange, Kelly Jeanne Fast (Roger) of Platte City and Matthew Pierce Heindselman (Dayna) of Washington, Mo.; six grandchildren, Kory and Ian Fast (Kelly), Michael and Zachary Heindselman (Greg) and Sheridan and Emma Heindselman (Matt); a step-grandchild, Tylor Kersten (Matt); a great-grandchild, Simon Fast (Kory); a sister, Sue VanMeter (Ronald), of Garland, Texas; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert; and an infant brother, Joseph.
SERVICES: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Culver-Stockton College's Alexander Campbell auditorium with the Rev. Dean Collings conducting.
VISITATION: A gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Russell will immediately follow the service at the Caldwell Building in Canton, Mo. The building is two miles west of Canton on Highway 16.
MEMORIALS: LaGrange Lions Club, LaGrange First Baptist Church and Missouri Bluebird Society.
ARRANGEMENTS: Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home, Quincy, is handling arrangements.
Condolences may be expressed online at whig.com
Published by Herald-Whig from Aug. 11 to Aug. 13, 2016.