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Russell L Orwig
February 4, 1951 ~ December 5, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Russell L. “Rusty”Orwig, 72, of North Henderson, Illinois, passed away at 2:53 p.m., Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. Rusty was born February 4, 1951 in Moline, the son of Ernest and Evelyn (Saylor) Orwig. He was raised in North Henderson and graduated from Alexis High School in 1969.
After graduation he enlisted and served in the Army from 1969-1971 at which time he was called home to manage the family farm when his father fell ill.
He married Beverly Carson on September 17, 1971 where they settled down and started their family in North Henderson, IL. Rusty continued to work on the farm while also working at Dohrn Transfer until 1978 when he was involved in a plane accident which altered the course of his life. After his recovery, he pursued an education in Social Work. He earned an Associate’s Degree at Carl Sandburg College, a Bachelor's Degree from Monmouth College, and became a licensed clinical social worker after completion of his Master’s of Social Work at the University of Iowa. He worked in the Illinois Department of Corrections for 9 years as a social worker, taught at Carl Sandburg College and then Western Illinois University until he retired in 2016. Rusty enjoyed spending time with his family, playing the musical saw, refurbishing pedal tractors, working with stained glass, relaxing at his “Lake Estate” at Lake Warren, and was a licensed commercial pilot and an avid aviator.
Rusty was actively involved in the Red Cross Disaster Response Team and went on multiple deployments. He was a member of the Masons, Shriners (as a clown), American Legion, and Gideons as well as an Elder Emeritus at the Gerlaw Christian Church. He volunteered at Camp Youth Hope in New Windsor and was involved with the Great Banquet of Peoria for many years.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 52 years, Beverly; son, Jeff (Pam) Orwig; daughter, Randi (Joe) Grodjesk; grandchildren, Emily and Jonathan Grodjesk and Bryce Orwig; siblings, Janet Brown, Danny (Kathy) Orwig, and Lolly Berg. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, Fred Brown and Roger Berg.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 11, 2023, at the Gerlaw Christian Church. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in the Gerlaw Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Gerlaw Christian Church or St. Jude Midwest Affiliate. Moore Memorial Home, Alexis, is handling the arrangements.