Joseph Russell “Russ” Pullen, 86, passed away at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28.
He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend.
He was born March 21, 1928, in Alton,the son of Wilbur and Mildred (Legate) Pullen.
Joseph graduated from Alton High School in January 1946 and enlisted in the Navy, serving on Guam. He served as Seaman 1st Class Radioman Electronics Technicians Mate until the end of 1948.
After returning from Guam, Joseph worked for ABC Baking, Standard Oil, and finally Owens Illinois Glass and Machine Shop, where he retired in 1991 after 42 years as a machinist and heat treater of steel. He was well-liked and highly regarded as an expert at his craft.
In 1949, after a tornado leveled many homes on the outskirts of his hometown of Bunker Hill, Joseph and his friend, Marvin Brenker, headed for the damaged area and were able to save the lives of six people who were trapped in their homes.
Joseph married Janice (Glenn) Pullen on Feb. 17, 1961, at Elm Street Presbyterian Church by the Rev. William Kimbrough. They remained happily wed for 53 years.
Joseph loved playing golf, being active in his church, and spending time with his family, his friends and his dogs. For many years, he and Janice enjoyed camping all over the U.S. and Canada with their son, Tom, and later with their grandchildren. Joseph was a talented carpenter and handyman. He also loved music and sang often in his deep bass voice. Many church services and special occasions were marked by his gift of singing.
Joseph was a life member of VFW Post 1308 and a member of Piasa Masonic Lodge in Alton. He was a 3rd degree Mason and a member and supporter of Shriners International Hospitals for children.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Kevin Pullen; and brother-in-law, the Rev. Fred Beck.
In addition to his wife, Janice, and son, Thomas, he is survived by his daughter-in-law, Jamie (Beckman) Pullen; his grandchildren, Jacob and Sarah Pullen; his sister, Mary Lou Beck; and his daughter-in-law, Judy Pullen, and her husband Bill Hallbruegge of Tamarac, Fla.
A memorial visitation will be from 4 p.m. until the time of services at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, at Faith Fellowship in Alton with Dr. Daymond Talkington officiating. Private burial will take place Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, with military honors by VFW 1308. Memorials may be given to 5A’s Animal Shelter or Faith Fellowship. Online guestbook can be found at www.gentfuneralhome.com.