March 27, 1925 – November 15, 2012
Russell L. Smith, 87, of Des Moines, entered into heavens gates, Thursday, November 15, 2012, at Methodist Medical Center.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 19, at Memorial Services of Iowa funeral home (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd.). A visitation will be held 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, November 18, also at the funeral home. Burial will be at Ankeny Memorial Gardens.
Russell was born March 27, 1925, to Charlie and Della Smith in Sidney, Iowa, where he grew up. He went into the Navy, and served his country from 1943 to 1946 during World War II.
After the war he returned home, and went to work for Firestone Tire Company, and with his first wife, he had 4 children.
In 1967, he married Marietta Lawson, and helped raise her 5 children, as though they were his own.
He retired from Firestone after 30 years, and became a volunteer chaplain for 23 years, at the Polk County jail.
Russell touched so many lives by the way he lived; he cared for everyone and shared Christ with all he met. Everyone that knew him, knew he was a faithful servant of God. He was a blessing to all, and we will miss him, but he is now dancing for glory at Jesus’ feet.
Russell is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marietta, 7 children; Sharon (Richard) O’Brien, Charles (Glenda) Smith, Esther (Gary) Jahnke, Stephen (Annee) Smith, Mark Lawson, Rebecca (LeRoy) Cunningham, and Rachel (Melvin) Cunningham, 28 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, 3 sisters; Evelyn (Jim) Whipple, Ila Gray, and Darlene (Don) Wampler, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers; Donald, Grant, Kenneth, and Wendell, and 2 step-children; Tim and Debbie.