Russell E. Darby, 91, of Belvidere, IL died peacefully Friday evening, June 7, 2013 in Northwoods Care Center after a long illness. Russ was born in Belvidere, IL on July 15, 1921, the only son of Ebert and Louise (Peters) Darby. Russ was a veteran of World War II, serving in the VRF2 Navy Pilot Group. He earned his pilot wings at Corpus Christi, TX where he married his high school sweetheart, Elsie Klaas on November 4, 1943. He attained the rank of Ensign Lt. JG and flew aircraft stateside for repositioning for combat in the Pacific and European Theaters. Russ spent most of his working career as a Dairyman; then was the custodian at Belvidere High School in retirement years. Russ and Elsie enjoyed many years in their beloved north-woods home in Three Lakes, WI; recently returning to Belvidere to be near their family. He enjoyed fishing, playing cards and he liked to tinker. His family will remember him for his love and guidance as a “Family Man”.Russ is loved and will be missed by his wife of sixty-nine years, Elsie of Belvidere; children Jack (Kay) Darby of Woodstock, IL, Linda (Jesse) Stratton of Shawano, WI, David (Susan) Darby of St. Charles, IL, Jan (David) Mills of Rockford; grandchildren Brett Darby, Melissa Darby, Laura Braatz, Julie Efram, Katherine (Conan) Locke, Jason Darby, Bethany (Matt) Decker, Lisa (Brandon) Eckardt; eight Great-Grandchildren. Russ is preceded in death by his parents.Russ and his family wish to express sincere gratitude to Dr. Khan and the wonderful staff at OSF St. Anthony. Russ was also grateful for the compassionate care he received during his short stay at Northwoods Care Center.
lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Belvidere First United Methodist Church Building Fund in his name.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday June 11, 2013 in First United Methodist Church, 610 Bonus Avenue, Belvidere, IL with Rev. James Crone officiating. Burial will be in Belvidere Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to service time on Tuesday at the church. Arrangements by Buck-Wheeler-Hyland Funeral Home, 218 W. Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere, IL. In