obituaries

Russell Baze

Jerseyville |

Russell D. Baze, 93, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, June 2, 2024 at the Villas of Hollybrook, where he has resided for the past year and a half.  

He was born in Greene County, Illinois on February 22, 1931 and was the son of Ollie and Clara (Dunnigan) Baze. 

Russell enlisted with the United States Army on January 17, 1951, earning a Purple Heart for his service, prior to his honorable discharge on January 16, 1954. 

He married his sweetheart and the love of his life, the former Deborah Jean Simms, on December 23, 1952 at the First United Methodist Church in Jerseyville. Throughout their 71 years of marriage, they shared a love and commitment to one another that many can only dream of. The example that they set for their daughters and grandchildren was nothing short of inspiring. While their hearts are broken, his loved ones are comforted in knowing that Russ and Deb are united once again; free from pain and the stresses of this Earthly world, and spending eternity reunited in their remarkable love. 

Russ and Deb’s married life began in Jerseyville, where they raised their three daughters and Russell was employed with Tri-City Grocery for 26 years as a Meat Cutter. 

Following his retirement, they relocated to the Silver Lakes Association community in Helendale, California, where Russell was able to spend his time doing one of the things he loved most: golfing. 

He was also an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting deer and turkey, and he was an exceptional turkey caller. He was also a gifted woodworker, creating countless pieces in his workshop throughout the years. 

After 20 years spent in California, Russ and Deb settled back in Jerseyville to be closer to their family. After Deb’s mother’s passing, they resided in the home that Deb’s parents had built, which they affectionately referred to as “The Farm.” They remained there for over 20 years, enjoying their golden years together with their various hobbies, and visits from friends, children, and grandchildren. In early 2023 they moved to the Villas of Hollybrook. Russ’s beloved wife, Deb, passed in April of 2023 after 71 years of marriage, and he remained passionately devoted to her for the rest of his life.

As Russ grew older and could no longer physically golf himself, he continued to enjoy following the sport and watching tournaments on TV. He also came to look forward to his evening routine of watching Gunsmoke, while spending quality time with his grandson, Tony. 

Surviving are three daughters and a son in-law, Pam and Jerry Heyen of Columbia, Missouri, Prisilla “PJ” Baze of Jerseyville and Patricia “Patti” Baze of Jerseyville; five grandchildren, Joshua Heyen and his significant other, Sheila, of Columbia, Missouri, Jacob (Christina) Heyen of Columbia, Missouri, Ryan (Jamie) Breden of Vandalia, Missouri, Jessica (Ryan) Goodman of Warrenton, Missouri and Tony Baze and his longtime companion, Katie, of Jerseyville; four great grandchildren, Lilly and Layla Breden and Emma and Kyzer Heyen; a brother, Hal; a half-brother, Tom; as well as a half-sister, Ethel. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife on April 11, 2023;  three sisters, Sally, Grace and Shirley, four brothers, Gerald, Everett, Gene, and Billy; as well as a half brother, Jackie.  

Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until time of Funeral Services at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2024 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville. Rev. David Brown will officiate.

Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville, with the Jerseyville American Legion Post #492 conducting military honors. 

Memorials may be given to Disabled American Veterans, in care of the funeral home. 

Memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.crawfordfunerals.com


Obit Provided By:
Crawford Funeral Home

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