Russell R. Spawn, Sr.
January 15, 1928 – May 27, 2021
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Lilian Spawn; seven siblings; his wife, Marjorie Spawn; and one grandchild. He is survived by five children: Betty Whitney, Beverly Webster, Terry (Cindy) Spawn, Russell (Patty) Spawn Jr., and Tonya (Mike) Frieze; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Family Graveside Service. Any memorials on behalf of Russell Spawn, Sr. will be donated in his name to the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS).
Russell was born on January 15, 1928, in a small farmhouse on the Cheyenne Indian reservation. The nearest town was Lantry, South Dakota. Russell was the youngest of eight children. His father raised work/draft horses and Russell was taught a strong work ethic very early in life. Later, the Spawn family moved to eastern South Dakota, where Russell did most of his growing up around Chester, S.D. When he was 17 years old, he joined the U.S Army, serving from 1946 to 1948.
After his honorable discharge he came home to Chester and started driving a truck. In 1950 he moved to Casper, Wyoming where he had family and where the truck driving opportunities were better.
Russell moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1969. Again, this move was due to his trucking career. Russell loved his family but also loved his career. Actually, it wasn’t just a career, it was his life. Over the years he received many safe driving awards and recognition from customers and trucking companies. His friendships in the trucking industry stretched all over the United States. In 1998 he was awarded the honor of the South Dakota Truck Driver of the year for having accumulated a verified 6.5 million safe driving miles and 50 years of work in the industry.
In 2002 Russell sold his last truck and tried retirement. Roughly one month later he found himself back on the road helping friends out by driving their trucks so they could have vacations. He also worked for the local Kenworth dealership delivering trucks for them.
In January of 2008, a week before his 80th birthday, he made his last trip in a semi-truck. He had decided it was time. His eyes just weren’t any good in the snow storms anymore.
Russell was finally home for good. He was very proud that he’d been in all of the lower 48 states and all of the Canadian providences and had even delivered tractors to old Mexico.
A very modest man, Russell didn’t talk a lot about himself. He loved making new friends and hearing their stories. He enjoyed his friends, his breakfast crowd at Billy’s Cafe, his old truck club buddies from ATHS, and spending time with his grandkids right up to the very end.