Russell Lankey, 93, died peacefully at the Morrow Home in Sparta, Thursday, July 25, 2019.

Russell is survived by his loving children, Rod Lankey of Mauston, Wis., Gene Lankey of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Lori Peppard (Paul) of Madison, Wis., and Ruth Perry (John) of Viroqua. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Russell R. Lankey (Carol) of Loganville, Wis., Jesse Lankey (Lori) of Blackhawk, Wis., Dorothy Fleming (Tim) of Mauston, Abbey Rose (Paul) of Tomah, Jill Watson (Eric) Orange, Texas, Sarah Thomas (Kyle) Sturgeon Bay, Traci Vartanian (Wally) of Ephraim, Wis., Kimberly Mirkes (Brady) of St. Louis, Mo., Lincoln Peppard (Agnieszka) Warszowice, Poland, Brendon Peppard, Madelyn Peppard and Aidan Peppard all of Madison, Alex Sheppard (Stephanie) Green Bay, Wis., and Angela Sheppard, Austin, Texas. Russell also had 17 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. He is also survived by his sister, Jolene Feddersen and her husband, Doug Demcak; brother, Richard Lankey and his wife, Sherry; also treasured nieces and nephews, Roxanne Thompson (Dennis) LaValle, Wis., Mark Lankey (Jodi), Hillsboro, Mary Shore (Pat), Wonewoc, Wis., Dale Feddersen (Rachel) Great Mills, Md., Kristi Holthaus (Jeff) Tomah; and many many friends.

He is preceded in death by his devoted wife, Laverne G. Lankey; his parents, Homer and Alice Lankey; sister-in-law, Redonna Lankey; brother-in-law, Larry Feddersen; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Norman and Shirley Springer.

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Russell was born Oct. 19, 1925, in Kendall, Monroe County. His parents were Alice and Homer Lankey. Russ graduated from Wonewoc High School in 1942. After graduation, at age 16, Russell joined the Navy and was inducted Jan. 25, 1943, at Great Lakes Naval Station. Russell served proudly on the USS Harding, which was a Destroyer//Minesweeper in both the Pacific and European theaters. His ship defended the shores of Normandy on D-Day and other invasions of France. His ship was also hit by a Kamikaze during the Okinawa invasion. He was always grateful they didn’t have to abandon the ship! Russ returned from the Navy in 1946 and married his high school sweetheart, Laverne, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wonewoc, June 7, 1947. The couple farmed in Wonewoc, for two years and then moved to Delavan, Wis. In 1956, the family moved to Tomah, where Russ worked in the insurance industry for many years. Russell was an active member of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church in Tomah, serving as president of the congregation and Elder. He was also involved in the Jaycees, Lions Club, VFW and American Legion.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, 525 Superior Ave. Pastor King will officiate. Burial will be at the Oak Grove Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home, 801 E. Monowau St., and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Monday, Aug. 12, at the church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Russell’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Paul Ev. Lutheran School, Onalaska Luther High School, or Morrow Memorial Home. The family would like to thank all the staff at Morrow Home, especially those at Homestead and our friends at Inclusa for their care, help, love and attention. Your love and support have meant so much!

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