JERSEYVILLE - Russel John Flentje, 80, died unexpectedly at 1:40 a.m., Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at his residence.
He was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin on April 2, 1939, and was the son of Melvin and Mary (Smokovitz) Flentje.
He graduated from Sauk-Prairie High School in Prarie du Sac, Wi, and served his country honorably with the United States Navy.
After his return home, he had various occupations until accepting employment with Trans World Airlines in St. Louis, Mo. in 1964. During his long career, he valued the many friendships that he established, and retired as a ramp serviceman.
He grew up in a large loving family, and cherished his relationship with his siblings.
A native of Wisconsin, he naturally was an avid Green Bay Packers fan, and looked forward to his many trips back to Wisconsin to visit family and friends.
His greatest passion was his family, but he also enjoyed a poker game with his longtime friends, fishing, woodworking and beekeeping, but if you asked him, his favorite hobby was his grandchildren.
He married the former Linda Lowry on December 14, 1967 in Clayton, Missouri, and together they have been blessed with 51 years of marriage, and the joys of raising their four daughters.
Surviving are his wife, Linda Flentje of Jerseyville; four daughters and sons in-law, Sara and Bret Saalsaa of Verona, Wi., Lisa DeWitt, and her companion, Brian Pogreba of Baraboo, Wi., Stephanie and Stanley Morgan of Jerseyville, and Tori and Dale Douglas of Jerseyville; nine Grandchildren and their spouses, Haley Saalsaa, and her fiance', Dan Miller, Kelsey Saalsaa, Chad Saalsaa, Nick DeWitt, Jenna DeWitt, Logan Morgan, Meghan and Jake Wallace, Taylor Douglas, and her companion, Cole Marburger, and Karley Douglas, and her companion, Richard Smith; nine great grandchildren; two brothers and sisters in-law, Gerald and Virginia Flentje of Baltimore, Md., and Donald and Stephanie Flentje of Baraboo, Wi.; four sisters and brothers in-law, Ruth Ann Beck of Madison, Wi., Melvina and Lloyd Meyer of Sauk City, Wi., Linda and Harley Breunig of Sauk City, Wi., and Betty and Al Deming of Waupun, Wi.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved granddaughter, Rebecca Morgan on Dec. 17, 2016; a sister, Jeanette Kirschtein; and a brother in-law, Burdette Beck.
Visitation will be from noon until time of funeral services at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville. Rev. Carl Hayes will officiate.
He will be laid to rest in the Kane Cemetery, with the Jerseyville American Legion Post 492 conducting military graveside rites.
Memorials may be given to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.