Russel Norman Fox, 93, passed away peacefully in Bakersfield, California, on Jan. 27, from complications of Alzheimer’s. He was born in Hampshire, Illinois, on Feb. 20, 1926.

When he turned 18, Russ joined the U.S. Army, serving with the Sixth Army Infantry in France during World War II, where he was wounded in action. He also served with distinction as a military escort bringing deceased soldiers home from WWII, and also fought during the Korean War.

He met his wife, Juanita Adkins, while stationed at West Point. They enjoyed 66 years of marriage, including being stationed in Europe; Fort Lewis, Washington; and Fort Irwin, California. He retired from the Army in 1964 with the rank of Sergeant First Class, after serving his country for 20 years. He was fiercely patriotic his entire life and truly a member of “The Greatest Generation.”

After military service, Russ worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in Livermore, California, retiring in 1986. He was active with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion Post 47, where he served in many positions, including post commander. After retirement, he and Juanita volunteered at the Veterans Administration hospital in Livermore. Russ logged thousands of hours in service to his fellow veterans. He and Juanita were considered icons at the VA, manning the coffee and donut station twice a week for over 20 years.

Although, because of his Alzheimer’s, Russ had some trouble remembering recent events, he maintained his special brand of humor and feistiness until the end.

Russ is survived by his wife, Juanita, and three children: Stephen Fox, Cheryl Mehl, and Robert Fox. He also had seven grandchildren: Ryan Fox, Michael Fox, Nicholas Fox, Laura Fox, Rachel Mehl, Ashley Mehl and Sarah Mehl; and four great-grandchildren. He has several nieces and nephews who will also be mourning his death. He was preceded in death by his parents and four older siblings.

A funeral service was held at Basham Funeral Care, 3312 Niles St., Bakersfield, California, on Feb, 4, with burial with Full Military Honors at the National Cemetery in Arvin, California.

Condolences may be left on the online guestbook at Donations may be made to the American Legion.