1933 - 2016

Russell Lee Smith, 83, of Pekin, peacefully passed away at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, at his home in Pekin.

Russell was born Oct. 24, 1933, in Peoria to Russell V. Smith and Margret Peg Brown. He married Connie Hendricks Dec. 24, 1956.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Allen Smith; and his wife.

Surviving are one son, Steve Smith of Pekin; one daughter, Vicki (William) Berchtold of Pekin; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Russell served in the United States Army and retired from working at Caterpillar Inc. He was a servant of the Lord and a lifelong Boy Scout. Russell worked in Boy Scouts for 49 years and received a Vigil Honor July 13, 1988. He was a missionary coordinator at Groveland Missionary Church for six years, a deacon for nine years and an usher for over 30 years. He is known for being a “Godly man” with amazing faith and trust in the Lord. He loved greeting people as they arrived at the church with a handshake or hug and giving them the bulletin.

Russell loved to spend his time being outside and working with his hands. His favorite hobbies were hunting, camping, fishing and wood working.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at Groveland Missionary Church, with the Rev. Marvin Classeen officiating. Visitation will be from 9 to 10: 30 a.m. Friday at the church.

Burial with military honors will be at Glendale Memorial Gardens.

Henderson Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Groveland Missionary Church, Peoria Rescue Mission or the Paralyzed Vets of America.

To offer condolences online, visit www.hendersonfuneralcare.com.