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Russell L. Heindselman

July 9, 1928 ~ August 8, 2016 (age 88)

   Russell Leon Heindselman of LaGrange, Missouri, died Monday evening August 8, 2016, as the result of an ATV accident on his farm.  

   Mr. Heindselman was born in rural Monticello, Missouri on July 9, 1928, 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 October 30, 1955, he married Phyllis Jeanne Keller, the daughter of Matthew and Dorothy Lucille Keller of Quincy at Central Baptist Church in Quincy, IL.

   After his marriage he then went to work for Gardner-Denver Foundry in LaGrange.  During that time, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict.  Russell did his basic training at Ft. 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; and their children, Gregory Allen Heindselman (Melinda) of LaGrange, Kelly Jeanne Fast (Roger) of Platte City, MO, and Matthew Pierce Heindselman (Dayna) of Washington, MO.  They have six grandchildren, Kory and Ian Fast (Kelly), Michael and Zachary Heindselman (Greg), and Sheridan and Emma Heindselman (Matt), a step-grandchild, Tylor Kersten (Matt); and a great-grandchild, Simon Fast (Kory).   He is also survived by 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.

   A memorial service will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 at the Culver Stockton College Alexander Campbell Auditorium with the Rev. Dean Collings officiating.

   Immediately following the memorial service a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Russell will be held at the Caldwell Building in Canton, MO (2 miles West of Canton on Highway 16).  

   Memorials may be made to LaGrange Lions Club, The LaGrange First Baptist Church and Missouri Bluebird Society.
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