Russell Keith Jones
June 20, 1940-July 20, 2023
Ossian Russell Keith Jones was born on June 20, 1940 in Springfield, Illinois to O. Russell and Florence (Gumm) Jones. His early years were spent in Las Alamos, New Mexico where his father was stationed in the military while the Manhattan Project was underway with the development of the atomic bomb. After his parents divorced he and his mother returned to the family farm in Paris, Illinois where he attended a one room school and grew up.
He attended Eastern Illinois University and received a BS degree in social science and speech/theatre. He was married to Joann Cummins and from that union a daughter, Heather, was born. They were later divorced. He earned an MA degree in speech/theatre from the University of Illinois. He also took additional courses in television and theatre directing, voice training, auctioneer training and television broadcasting. He served in the Indiana Air Force National Guard and Reserves in the mid 1960’s.
His teaching career began in Paxton (Illinois) High School in 1963, before moving on to the University of Wisconsin/Stout, Minneapolis (Minnesota) Community College, Central Wyoming College, and Lake Superior (Duluth, Minnesota) Community College. His teaching and directing skills positively impacted many students and adults.
In Minneapolis he became interested in bicycling and rode on several long rides around the city as well as other organized rides. He was an avid fan of the BIG 10 college athletic conference, especially if his ‘Fighting Illini’ were playing.
While at CWC in Riverton, Keith met Patricia (Wilson) Sturdevant. They later married and became biking companions throughout parts of Illinois and Minnesota.
Keith was a student of the Urantia Book and strove to follow Jesus Christ in his dealings with those he came in contact with. After both Keith and Pat retired, they moved to Sheridan where he directed several plays at the Carriage House Theatre. They also traveled extensively throughout the United States.
He is survived by his wife Pat, his daughter Heather (Jef Schnitzler) Jones (Marshfield, Wisconsin), two grandchildren, Megan (Adam) Boldig and five great grandsons (Altoona, Wisconsin) and Kyle (Stephanie) Rasmussen and three great grandsons (Marshfield, Wisconsin). He is also survived by Pat’s three children, and her four siblings.
A memorial service for Keith will be held at 11 am on Friday, July 28, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church in Sheridan with Rev. Jim Barth officiating. A light lunch will be served in the Fellowship Hall of the church immediately following the services.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.