Russell E. Greenlee, age 92, of Anthon, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at the UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center of Sioux City, Iowa.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 11, 2023, at the United Methodist Church of Anthon, Iowa. Lay Speaker Shirley Nelson will officiate. Committal services will follow in the Oak Hill Cemetery of Anthon, Iowa, with Military Rites conducted by the McNiff Post No. 389 of the American Legion, of Anthon, Iowa.
A Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Sunday, December 10, 2023, with a Prayer Service at 4:00 p.m., at the United Methodist Church of Anthon, Iowa.
The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Anthon, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online www.armstrongfuneral.com.
Russell Elmer Greenlee, the son of Elmer and Martha (Ehlers) Greenlee, was born on September 24, 1931, in LeClaire, Iowa. Russell grew up in LeClaire and graduated from LeClaire High School with the class of 1949. He often reminisced about growing up in LeClaire as a little child during WWII sharing, “there were only kids and older men and women around us as all, as the younger men were off to War”. One of those young men was Russell’s very own brother LaVerne, who lost his life in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII. Russell loved to share stories about growing up in the little river town along the Mississippi River. Some fond memories were skating on the Mississippi River at night, the lock and dams along with the huge fish found in the river.
In his youth he worked at and delivered groceries for the local A&P grocery store. He enjoyed sharing about growing up on a dime when funds & food were in short supply, but his mom gardened and canned which made life good for them. Russell’s mom was German and made homemade sauerkraut, which he absolutely loved to eat his whole life. He also was a huge fan of black licorice and chipped beef in gravy over bread.
After Russell graduated from high school, he entered into service with the United States Navy in March of 1951. He was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois until March 15, 1955. In the late spring of 1952 while home on leave, Russell spotted a beautiful blonde bombshell driving by in a canary yellow convertible. Through fate or possibly even design, Russell was introduced to that bombshell by Patsy Rector, Patsy was a friend to Russell but was the cousin of the bombshell. That bombshell was Nona Hanson and the two were married on August 17, 1952. Russell and Nona lived on the Great Lakes Naval Station until his discharged in 1955. Russell truly enjoyed his time with the Navy, where he worked in the legal department. They moved back to the LeClaire area and the couple welcomed their son Jay and two years later another son Brian.
In 1962 the family relocated to the Anthon, Iowa, area where they later settled on a 160-acre farm east of Anthon, that they purchased in 1965, and Russell began farming. They farmed, raised pigs, milked dairy cows and Russell hauled grain. The couple welcomed a daughter Cheryl. In 1981 the couple moved to town and Russell started a career as a over the road truck driver for Greenfield Transport out of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Russell enjoyed his truck driving career receiving a million-mile accident free award for excellent driving which he proudly displayed. Racking up well over a million miles, Russell would have many adventures to tell traveling the continental U.S., Russell continued to truck until the couple purchased the Little Siouxloon in October of 2001. Russell was always there to help with dishes, peel potatoes, and finish out every night bartending, always finding time to tell a Navy or trucking story. Russell stepped back form the bar business in 2013 when his wife Nona started to develop dementia. He lovingly cared for Nona until her passing in February of 2015. Russell enjoyed attending church at the United Methodist Church of Anthon where he attended regularly on Sundays and in his younger years was always willing to help at the turkey banquets in the fall. Where he was usually at the sink washing dishes just how he spent his time at the Little Siouxloon.
Left to cherish his memory are his children: Jay (Karen) Greenlee of Sioux City, IA, Brian Greenlee of Ida Grove, IA, and Cheryl Bahrke of Anthon, IA; four grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren; extended family and friends.
Russell was preceded in death by his wife Nona Greenlee; brothers LaVerne Kruse and Howard “Big Howdy” (Fritzie) Kruse; and sister Eleanor (Paul) Klindt.
401 E Bridge Street
Anthon, IA 51004
Prayer Service at 4 p.m.
401 E Bridge Street
Anthon, IA 51004