Russell Wayne “Cowboy” Gillespie of Albany, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, October 31, 2020, at age 94.

Russell was born on January 1, 1926 to Raymond and Grace (Wood) Gillespie of Albany.  He graduated from Albany High School, and worked on the family farm.

Russell served his country during World War II as a medic in Germany.  Upon his return to Missouri and discharge from the Army, he attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College. It was there that he met the love of his life, Vonda Mason.  The two came to Kansas City, took the first train they could, which happened to be to Tulsa, OK, where they were married on December 10, 1947.

Russell and Vonda lived on a farm near Albany, but moved to Kansas City during the Korean War, where he worked for Layne & Sons, a water well drilling company.  After the war, they moved back to Albany, where he returned to farming.  They raised three children.

They had 68 years together, farming in the Albany area. He and Vonda enjoyed riding with the Albany Saddle Club. Russell believed in civic service, and was an active volunteer, serving as a board member with MFA and Carmack Cemetery, as a Pleasant Dorsey 4-H leader, and on the Albany R-3 School Board. He was a member of the Albany Baptist Church and the American Legion Post 106.

The Gillespie family was awarded the Missouri Farm Family of the Year and recognized as a Missouri Century Farm.

During their semi-retirement, they spent winters in Mission, Texas, or driving around the country in their motor home, visiting family and friends.

Russell was preceded in death by his loving wife Vonda Mason Gillespie, his parents Raymond and Grace Wood Gillespie, brother Leo Gillespie of Wichita, KS, sisters Marjorie Silkett Wallace (Alton “Bud”) of St. Joseph and Ruby Irene Harris (Albert Donald “Don”) of Albany.

Russell is survived by their three children, Barbara Breen (Herb) of Davenport, FL, Dean Gillespie (Karen) of Albany, Linda Beatty (Alan) of Kansas City, MO, five grandchildren, Erin Breen (Marcella) of Cambria, CA, Ashley Young, Ft. Meyers, FL, Macyn Clark (Mike) Oklahoma City, OK, Collins Beatty and Hope Beatty of Kansas City, MO, three step grandchildren, Glenn Hamilton (Amanda) of Albany, Jared Hamilton (Emily) of Agency, MO, and Grant Hamilton of Wentzville, MO, and many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Graveside Service and Burial with Military Rites:  1:00 PM Saturday, November 7 at the Grandview Cemetery in Albany.  There is no scheduled family visitation, however friends may call anytime from 9:00 – 12:00 on Saturday at the Roberson-Polley Chapel, Albany. The family would like to request masks be worn and social distancing be observed. Memorial Contributions:  Carmack Cemetery in care of the Roberson-Polley Chapel, 403 N. Hundley, Albany, MO  64402.  Online condolences: