HERRIN -Russell "Russ" E. Mathews, 79, of Herrin passed away February 20, 2023, at Herrin Hospital.
Russ was born on August 8, 1943, in Ottawa, IL, to Walter and Alma (Clement) Mathews. He graduated LaSalle-Peru Township High School in 1961. He served in the Army as a wheel and track mechanic in Germany and France.
He was employed by Illinois Bell Telephone out of the LaSalle office. During that time, he was a member of I.B.E.W. Russ then worked as an armed Security Officer for Burns Security at LaSalle Nuclear Power Generating Station near Marseilles.
He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for nearly 40 years. He was an avid BSA patch collector and historian. He was elected as permanent Patrol Leader of the Smokey Bear Patrol during his Wood Badge Training Course (EC-224W). Later in his leadership years, he not only was awarded the "District Award of Merit", he was also awarded "The Honor Medal" for lifesaving. This award was presented to him for saving a youth from a burning house. This is the 2nd highest lifesaving award a Scout can be awarded.
Russ was also a proud member of the Herrin American Legion Post #645.
Survivors include his wife Mary of Herrin; one son, Danny (Sherri) of Marseilles; and two grandchildren, Joseph of Germantown Hills and Anna of Marseilles. Three step-children, Judy LaFond of Braidwood, John LaFond of Oldsmar, FL, and Tom LaFond of Energy.
He was preceded in death by his older brother, William, and his father, Walter. Private interment will be at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood. along with a public memorial, at a later time. Memorials may be directed to the family.