Robert LeRoy “Bob” Balloun, 91, Russell, Kansas, passed away Monday, October 14, 2019 at his home. Bob was born December 10, 1927 in Hays, Kansas. He was one of five children born to Rudolph George and Mabelle (Britt) Balloun. He grew up in Russell and graduated from Russell High School in the Class of ’46.
Bob served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII as a combat engineer. His 2-year tour was spent serving in Japan as part of the occupation. After his discharge, he returned to the Russell area. Bob was united in marriage to Nancy Jane Edwards on July 24, 1949, in Russell. This union was blessed with three daughters; MaryAnn, Jane and Janet. They made their home in Russell. Nancy preceded him in death on December 15, 2018. Bob owned and operated Oiline Cleaning Company, working in the oil fields for 35 years. After selling his business, he worked in law enforcement serving Russell as Sheriff for 10 years. He established and conducted new educational programs to improve safety and educate children in drug prevention, seatbelt safety, and prevention of drunk driving. He started Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous Programs for inmates, as well as Bible Study and counseling to support & teach skills to help inmates assimilate back into society.
Bob continued to seek ways to serve his community. He was co-founder of Russell Food Pantry, serving as President and board member for 20 years. He served on the Citizens Review Board and was chosen as Russell’s “Man of the Year 1991.” He was active in the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240, the Russell Elks Lodge and Russell Rotary Club. With his love of outdoors and nature, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, and camping with his family. Bob and Nancy loved spending time with their children and their grandchildren and great grandchildren. He especially enjoyed traveling with his siblings seeing new places and making great memories. He also undertook new hobbies learning to make jelly, canning, baking and gardening.
Bob’s surviving family includes his three daughters, MaryAnn Kuhn (Mark) of Wichita, Kansas, Jane Ellen Law (Michael) of Kansas City, Missouri, Janet Kay Stremel (Jerry) of Brevard, North Carolina; his brother Eugene Balloun of Kansas City, Kansas; Sister Betty Boxberger of Russell, Kansas; seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Bob was preceded in death by his parents; wife Nancy; brothers George Balloun and Lloyd Balloun.
Celebration of Bob’s Life will be held at 10:30 A.M., Friday, October 18, 2019 at Trinity United Methodist Church of Russell. Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery where Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 Honor Guard will conduct Military Rights. Visitation will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 8:00 PM, Thursday, October 17, 2019 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. A Memorial has been established with Russell Food Pantry. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, who is in charge of these arrangements.