On April 30, 2023, we bid farewell to our beloved bonus Dad, Grandpa, and family member, James Russel (Russ) Aulton. Russ was born on February 20, 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee to Alene and William Aulton. He grew up with his siblings Johnny and Susie in Oklahoma. After joining the Air Force in 1964, Russ worked as a munition maintenance technician at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas.
Russ captured the heart of Jane Ford, who is our mother, in the 1990s. They shared a love for traveling and cherished their home and friends in Topeka, Kansas. As Jane began exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's, Russ resigned from his job to become her full-time caregiver. This was a challenging transition for a man who had spent 48 years as a truck driver. He made further sacrifices when Jane's family requested that he relocate from Topeka, Kansas, to Omaha, Nebraska, to be closer to her children and their families. Sadly, Jane passed away in 2016 after only one year of living in Omaha, leaving Russ feeling lost and unsure about what to do without her. Our family welcomed Russ with open arms, as he had become our bonus dad and grandpa. He enjoyed attending every family gathering, which he referred to as a "hooraw" (a loud and boisterous party!). Russ always had an interesting story to tell, which often led to us threatening to Google him. However, he would always respond with, "Don't you dare." According to Russ, the internet has ruined many older men's stories.
Our father was proud of his daughters, our children, and their families. We will deeply miss him and his stories. He had a kind and compassionate heart, and his presence enriched our lives. We are incredibly thankful for the VA and the VA CLC in Papillion, who provided him with love and care. We cannot imagine what we would have done without them. Rest in peace, Russ. We love you and know that you and Mom are dancing together in heaven.
Russ is survived by his sister Susan Goedecke from Oklahoma, and his stepdaughters Kathy Broniecki, Kara (Clay) Phillips, and Kelly (Bob) Baker. Additionally, he is survived by his step-grandchildren, Kameron and Katie Vogt, Karter and Kadyn, Randi and Chad Sinclair, Grady, and Jack; Quintin Vogt, Brett and Nichole Nelson, Johnny and Julane; Tyler and Kelly Baker, Penny and Sunny; Cassandra and Dustin Lungren, Payton and Matt Misuraca and Charlotte, Jordan Broniecki and Sara Nixon, and Scott Phillips.
There will be a private family service at a later date.
Memorials can be made to the American Lung Association.