C. Russell Mezo, age 89, a lifelong resident of Grand Tower died Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Marion VA Medical Center.
Russell was born in Sand Ridge Township in Jackson County on September 5th, 1927 to Albert and Nora (Taylor) Mezo.
He was educated in the schools of Grand Tower and later the AAF Aviation School in Geiger Field, Washington where he went on to serve in the U.S. Army Squadron 2622nd AAF Base Unit during World War II and later in the Air Force-Air Corps until date of separation with an honorable discharge being January 9th, 1946. For his service and dedication Russell earned a Victory Medal. His civilian occupation became the former business owner and operator of Mezo 76 Service Station in Grand Tower. Previously, his many life journeys led him to work as a truck driver, railroader and eventually to Mezo Texaco. On June 29th, 1946, he was united in marriage with Evelyn (Hudson) Mezo in Murphysboro, Illinois.
Russell enjoyed country music and singing “Karaoke”. He loved to fish and deer hunt. He was blessed with many friends and loved nothing more than telling a story or a good joke or two. When his wife Evelyn was still living they enjoyed camping and taking short trips cross-country.
Russell formally belonged to “The American Legion” and “The Moose Lodge” for many years and was liked and appreciated by all who knew him.
Surviving Russell are his two sons, Allan Mezo (Phyllis) Grand Tower, IL, John Hudson (Tina) Grand Tower, IL and Kevin Mezo who was raised as family in Murphysboro, IL. Additionally, he is survived by his daughter, Janice Raber of Grand Tower, IL. He is also survived by his brother Kenny (Brenda) Mezo of Grand Tower, IL; sister June Freeman of Grand Tower, IL and two sisters-in-law, Virginia Link of St. Louis, MO and Virginia “Jimmy” Mezo of Indian Trail, NC. Russell is also survived by all his beloved Grandchildren and Great-Grand Children. Grandchildren include Rodney (Jammie) Mezo, Ryan Houston, Adam Hudson, Allaina (Tony) Dowdy, Elena Houston, Brooke Hudson and Brandy (Sam) Baumgarte. Great-Grandchildren include Brent Mezo, Trent Mezo, Morgan Mezo, Chloe Dowdy, Caleb Hudson, Maverick Baumgarte, Karter Baumgarte and Cora Dowdy. Other living survivors encompass many beloved nieces and nephews.
Preceding Russell in death were his parents, his infant brother Eugene Mezo, brothers Herman, Sherman and Ralph Mezo, son-in-law, Melvin Raber and grandson, Caleb Raber.
Funeral services for Russell will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 at Meredith Funeral Home in Grand Tower Chapel, IL with Reverends Gilbert Gee and Jack Thornton officiating and Richie Pyatt. Burial will follow at Walker Hill Cemetery in Grand Tower, IL. Visitation will be from 5:00pm-8:00pm on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Grand Tower Chapel, IL.
The entire Mezo family would like to extend a special heart-felt thank you to the Marion VA Medical Center for taking great care of Russell.
Memorials are the preferred form of remembrance and can be made either to the American Cancer Society, Marion VA Nursing Home or Southern Illinois Hospice. Envelopes will be available in funeral chapel.