Russell F. Heikes Russell F. Heikes, 85, of Vermillion, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 at his farm residence in Vermillion. Russ was born Sept. 29, 1923 in Sioux City, IA to EV "Vern" and Dorothy (Ford) Heikes. His early years were spent on the family farm in Dakota City, NE. He graduated from Vermillion High School, attended Texas A & M, and the University of South Dakota. Russ married Kathryn Thoreson on Dec. 27, 1946 in Beresford. He was a member of Beta Theta Phi fraternity at USD, Incense Masonic Lodge in Vermillion, and was honored to be the longest member of the United Church of Christ in Vermillion. He loved the land and the sky. He loved horses and loved to fish. He was a man of nature and of God. When WWII started, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was trained as a P-47 fighter pilot; he loved that time of his life. After the war, he spent his days as a farmer and a cattle feeder. Many times he could be seen picking up soil and just feeling and smelling it. Fishing was done by the hour or by the day. He would sit in a boat, smiling, just watching the sky, but he worked for those walleyes.This love was gifted on to his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his sons, Russell Sam (Gladys) of Sidney, MT and David (Natalia) of Wadena, MN; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Kathryn; a brother, Hanley Heikes; and two sisters, Marilyn Cave and Joanne Heikes. Memorial services were 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3 at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion. For online condolences and obituary please visit hansenfuneralhome.com.