Russell Sampson, 86, of rural Terril passed away Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 at his home.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008 at the United Methodist Church in Ruthven. Revs. Roger Maize and Jim Gochenouer will officiate the 10:30 a.m. service. Burial will be at Crown Hill Cemetery in Ruthven.
Casket bearers include Jason Felty, Erik Eisenmann, Alex Sampson, Jim Eldridge, Phil Currans and Allen McGranahan.
Mr. Russell Sampson, the son of T. Lester and Pauline (Prichard) Sampson, was born March 13, 1922 near Terril. He graduated from Lake Center High School in 1939. In 1940, he joined the Army Air Corps and completed airplane mechanic school as well as flight instructor training. By 1942, he was an Air Corps pilot and became a commissioned 2nd Lt. in 1943. He served on the East Coast and in Hawaii.
On June 2, 1945, he was united in marriage to Jane Singletary in Clarkton, N.C. He remained active in the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 1982 with the rank of Lt. Col.
He returned to the area in 1947 to farm the family's farm north of Ruthven. He was an active member of Iowa Flying Farmers and International Flying Farmers. He served as state president and district director of the international chapter in 1974 and was named International Flying Farmer of the Year in 1989. He was also awarded the Iowa Flying Farmer Man of the Year award and was honored with the FAA Wright Brothers' Master Pilot award in 2005.
An active member of the United Methodist Church in Ruthven, where he served on the church council for many years, he was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star, serving as worthy patron, and a member of the Ruthven American Legion. He served on the Terril School Board for six years, four as chairman. He served on the Clay County Compensation Board, the Ruthven Community Care Center board and the Ruthven State Bank for 30 years.
Mr. Sampson was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard.
Russell Sampson is survived by his wife, Jane, of Terril; his children: David Sampson and his fiancee, Brenda Mead, of New Sharon, and Cynthia Eisenmann and her husband, Kurt, of Waukesha, Wis.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two brothers: Earl of San Antonio, Texas, and Wesley of Toledo, Ohio; other relatives and friends.