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Obituary: Robert Russell Jr., Columbus

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Robert W. "Smokey" Russell Jr., 72, of Columbus, died at 3:40 p.m. Thursday, December 27, 2012, at Hospice of South Central Indiana Inpatient Facility.

He was born in Hartford City, August 26, 1940, the son of the late Robert William Russell Sr. and Leona Patricia Moll Russell. He married Phyllis A. Glover Neville on May 21, 2004, and she survives.

Robert retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1984 after 21 years of service. As a military police officer, he served at several bases, including Denana, Okinawa and Vietnam. While in the Air Force, he was in charge of maintenance and repair of combat defense vehicles. He was a patrol dog handler and trained dogs to search for drugs.

In addition to his wife, he is also survived by a son, Larry Ken Neville of Trafalgar; daughters, Karen Lynn Russell of Marion, and Dawn Marie (Therron) Walker of the United Arab Emerites, and Michelle Lee (Robert) Michalec of Scheretz, Texas; grandchildren, Breanna Walker, Amber Michalec, Patrick Michalec, Chrystal Michalec, Chad Wooldridge, Sarah Neville and Nikki Neville; sisters, Peggie Sue Russell-Cleveland of Peru, Ind., Marcia K. (Dennis) Russell Prior of Columbus, Melody Ann Henry of Wabash, Michelle (Allen) Wallen of Kokomo, Melicia Batts of Fla.; nieces and nephews, Brad Cleveland, Patricia Williams, and Dennis, Keith and William Prior; a great-niece, Kendall Prior; and a great-nephew, Keith Prior Jr.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother-in-law, David Cleveland.

Funeral services will be conducted at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home with the Rev. Wes Jones officiating.

Calling will be from 2:30 p.m. until service time Wednesday at the funeral home. Military honors will be conducted by the Bartholomew County Veterans Color Guard followed by the memorial service at 5:30 p.m. A Masonic Service will be conducted after the memorial service. In following with Smokey's wishes, cremation is planned.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

You may view his video tribute after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the internet.

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