joseph russell

KANKAKEE — Joseph K. “Joe” Russell, 90, of Kankakee, passed away Tuesday (Aug. 24, 2021) at his home.

Joe was born Sept. 10, 1930, in Chicago, the son of Joseph and Camille Kvitek Russell.

He married Iola Lehnig on Oct. 31, 1980, in Kankakee.

Joe was a pilot, crop duster and flight instructor.

He was a member of the VFW. Joe was a quiet birdman. He had a lifetime pass to air shows in Oshkosh, Wis. He loved airplanes and was an excellent carpenter.

Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Korea.

Surviving are his wife, Iola Russell, of Kankakee; two sons, Joseph and Connie Russell, of Park City, Utah, and Christopher Russell, of Texas; four stepsons, Carlo and Tracy Armenise, of Las Vegas, Nev., Samuel and Barbara Armenise, of Fall Brook, Calif., Patrick and Linda Armenise, of Menifee, Calif., and William Armenise, of Fort Worth, Texas; one brother, Robert and Roberta Russell, of Beaverville; one grandson, Joseph “Tray” Russell; four stepgrandchildren, Cassandra Armenise, Kristina Holfler, Tony Armenise and Jason Armenise; nine stepgreat-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding him in death were his parents; one son, Michael Russell; and one stepson, Michael Armenise.

Visitation will be from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, at Clancy-Gernon-Hertz Funeral Home in Kankakee. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30, also at the funeral home.

Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Beaverville.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Church in Beaverville.

Please sign his online guestbook at