Russell E. “Gene” Eskew, age 81, of Vandalia, passed away at 3:29 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at the Country View Nursing Facility in Bowling Green, Missouri.
Visitation was held on Friday, September 12, 2014 from 5-8 p.m. at Waters Funeral Chapel in Vandalia.
A service was held on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Southside Baptist Church in Vandalia.
Officiating was Pastor Mark Phelps.
Interment will be in the Vandalia Cemetery with full military honors.
Pallbearers were grandsons Jeremiah Eskew, Anson Eskew, Cory Eskew, Joshua Eskew, Caleb Eskew, and Aaron Eskew.
Russell E. “Gene” Eskew was born on March 26, 1933 in Winchester, Illinois, the son of John Clay and Helen Celeste (Arthur) Eskew.
He married Mary Helen Largent on November 17, 1956 in Vandalia; she survives.
Gene moved to Vandalia as an infant and grew up and attended schools in Vandalia.
He had worked for the International Shoe company for a few years before starting at Harbison Walker Refractories in Vandalia.
Gene answered his country’s call and served in the U. S. Army for two years during the Korean War.
He returned to Harbison Walker and worked in the air ram department as an air hammer operator. Gene retired from the plant in March 1998.
He was a member of the Southside Baptist Church in Vandalia and had enjoyed bowling, gardening and spending time with his family.
Survivors include his wife Mary Helen, of Vandalia; three sons, Gary W. and wife Billie Eskew, of Bellflower; Larry D. and wife Missy Eskew, of Moberly, and Eric D. Eskew, of Overland Park, Kansas; two sisters Edith and husband Gene Kemp, of Davenport, Iowa; Phyllis and husband Archie Hursman, of Vandalia; seven grandchildren, Jeremiah W. Eskew, Anson D. Eskew, Cory L. Eskew, Joshua C. Eskew, Beatrice J. Eskew, Caleb A. Eskew, and Aaron C. Eskew; eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson; also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Jimmy W. Eskew; one sister, Jerrie Smith.
Memorials are encouraged to the American Cancer Society.