Sometimes it is as important to research someone not related by blood because they are a big part of your family’s history. This is the case of my mother’s and my uncle’s stepfather Russell Harrison Kees.
We don’t know how or when Donna met Russell. In 1935, Donna was living in Chicago with her children. Russell was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By 1937, Donna was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to the 1940 Census, Donna and Russell were living together at 1421 Gibney Place. Donna and her children took the surname “Kees” although it doesn’t appear that Donna and Russell ever married nor were Donna’s children adopted.
Quick Bio of Russell Harrison Kees
Russell Harrison Kees was born 4 May 1899 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1900, Russell lived with his father, Frank, mother, Mattie, and two sisters, Francis and Mildred. Another sibling had died before Russell was born.
Sometime between 1900 and 1910 Russell’s father died.
In 1910, Russell lived with his mother, Mattie, and his two sisters, Francis & Mildred and was attending school.
Russell enlisted at Belvidere, IL, to serve in WWI on 26 Jul 1917 and remained until 31 Mar 1919. He served in the Illinois Guard, 3rd Infantry, Company M.
There was a Russell Kees who lived at 218 Kish, Rockford, Illinois, USA in 1929 per Rockford, Illinois, City Directory, 1929 – This may be the same Russell Kees, I need to do more research to confirm this.
In 1935, Russell lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In 1940, Russell lived at 1421 Gibney Place, Grand Rapids.
Russell lived at 37 Shelby SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA with “Dana” (Read Donna) in 1941 per Grand Rapids, Michigan, City Directory, 1941.
Donna and Russell appear to have separated sometime before 1953, probably about 1948.
Russell married Florence L. Dowdy on 26 Sept 1958 in Cook County, IL.
Russell Kees died in March of 1982. His last known residence was Villa Park, DuPage County, Illinois, USA.