Russell H. Kehn 

Russell H. Kehn of Lindsay, Calif. passed away on April 13, 2018 at his home with his beloved family at his side. He was 90 years old. Russ was born on a farm outside of Jefferson, Iowa in 1927 to Charles Kehn and Rose Teagarden Kehn. He was married to the love of his life, “Kitty”, for over 50 years and they enjoyed living in Lindsay for nearly five decades before she passed away from Cancer in 2003.   

Russ grew up living and working on farms in Iowa and Arkansas with his six siblings, sisters Jeanne, June, and Shirley who preceded him in death and his surviving siblings Carol, Lois and Merle. Russ joined the Navy shortly after graduating high school and was stationed in Guam during World War II. Once back home, he joined the ROTC, getting his bachelor’s degree in ag from the University of Arkansas. He started Air Force Flight School in Florida in 1951, where he learned to fly his cherished “P51 Mustang”. He met Kathryn “Kitty” Swim on July 4, 1952, was engaged by August and married on Nov. 8 of the same year. The newlyweds were first stationed in Daluth, Minn. before Russ was sent overseas to Korea in 1953. Air Force Major Russell Kehn loved his flying days and had the best stories of his adventures in his Mustang. 

He is survived by his two daughters Vickie Kehn Knutson of Clovis, Calif. and Linda Kehn of Porter Ranch in Los Angeles and their husbands Joe Goulet and Alon Winton; his cherished granddaughter, Nicole Kennelly and her husband Dennis of Australia; plus his three remaining siblings, nieces and nephews. Russ loved to serve not only his country, but the local community, from the Boy Scouts where he went from Scout leader, to Scout Commissioner, earning the prestigious Silver Beaver Award from Scouting in 1993, to his over six decades at the Lindsay United Methodist Church where he served as Lay Minister. Russ continued his love of nature, first learned on the farm, through his passions for gardening, camping with his family, fly fishing, backpacking and birdwatching with the Audubon Society. 

His love for aviation continued throughout his life, he enjoyed flying his son-in-law, Alon’s plane and going to the airshows with his nephews, who treated him to a ride in a B-17 bomber for his 90th birthday. Russ was especially thrilled at the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. on the Central California Honor Flight for World War II and Korean War veterans with his daughter Vickie in 2015. 

Russ spent his career self-employed in ag related sales, first with the Kehn Chemical Company and then Conklin which gave him opportunities to meet and talk with people, his favorite pastime. Russ loved spending time with family enjoying the great outdoors as well being an avid reader, especially enjoying the words of John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Russ was an environmentalist at heart with his motto, “always leave a place cleaner than you found it”, which he taught his kids early in life. 

Russ never knew a stranger and was the first to offer a helping hand whenever needed. He was renowned for his friendliness, warmth and his selfless service to God, family, country, community, friends and strangers alike. 

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at the Lindsay United Methodist Church, 120 N. Gale Hill, Lindsay, CA, 93247, with a salad and dessert potluck immediately following in the Church’s Maxwell Hall for people to share their stories about Russ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Lindsay United Methodist Church, the National Parks (www.nationalparks.org) or the Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org).

Start typing and press Enter to search