Russell Hill Jr., 87, of Olathe, Kan., and formerly of Leavenworth, died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at Olathe Medical Center surrounded by loved ones. He was born, Nov. 18, 1925, in Platte County, Mo., the son of Russell and Minnie C. (Searcy) Hill Sr. Russ was one of nine children which included; Elwood Reynolds, Raymond Hill, Bob Hill, Clyde Hill, Della Porter, Nida Campbell, Mary Jesse Cloud and Dorothy Thomas.
Russ had five children three with his first wife Beulah Pike; Mike Cindy Roger and two with his current wife, Judith Ann Hill; Bryan and Brandi; Russ had 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Mary Jesse Cloud and Dorothy Thomas; and a brother, Elwood Reynolds.
Russ graduated from Weston High School in 1943 and immediately joined the Army Air Corp. Russ became an aerial gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress with the 385th Bomb Group. His aircraft was named "Madam Shoo Shoo" and he completed 30 combat missions from October 1944 to May 1945 in the European Theater of Operations. Holding numerous awards and decorations Russ retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1966, as an E-9 Chief Master Sergeant.
After his military retirement Russ worked for two years in Atchison, Kan., for Rockwell Inc. He then went to work for Hallmark Cards in Leavenworth and retired in 1989, after 20 years of service with the company, as the Technical Services Manager.
Russ is a past president of the Leavenworth Kiwanis Club, he served on the Aviation Technical Committee of the Mid-American Regional Council and was a past member of the City of Leavenworth Uniform Building codes board.
Russ has also owned and operated Hill's Flight Service out of Sherman Airfield at Ft. Leavenworth. He was an FAA Flight Instructor and Examiner for years with over 39,000 flight hours.
Russ's loves were his family, flying, traveling the country and the outdoors.
The Hill family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the nursing staff and physicians at Olathe Medical Center.
Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Inurnment with full military honors will follow at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Disabled Veterans or the Wounded Warrior Project.