Clell Eugene “Gene” Littrell, age 95 of Spring Valley, WI, former longtime resident of Smithville, MO, passed away at his home on May 26, 2020. Clell was born August 30, 1924 in rural Carroll County, Arkansas to Joseph Otis and Dollie (Clemence) Littrell. He was proud of his roots, and would often refer to himself as the “Hillbilly from Arkansas.” He graduated from the School of the Ozarks, with the Class of 1944. That same year, he was united in marriage to Norma Kennedy. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Ginger, Otis, Rex, and Mark. They shared 40 years until Norma’s passing in 1984. Gene worked as an electrician and power house engineer for Corn Products Refining for 37 years, until his retirement in 1984.
Gene was an eternal optimist, outgoing, and never knew a stranger. He was humble and hard-working, and always had a project occupying his time and interests. Gene was a 60-year member of the Smithville Masonic Lodge, Temperance #438, and a 50-year member of the Smithville Kiwanis Club. He also served on the Smithville School Board from 1964-1982, serving as president for many of those years. He was a great supporter of education, and was instrumental in the building of the new Smithville High School. Gene was full of pride with the education he received from the School of Ozarks and what they provided to others. He was a generous benefactor and loyal supporter to the school, and served as the Alumni President from 1989-1991. He was delighted to attend his 75th Class Reunion this past year.
While raising his children, Gene was active in his community and gave effortlessly by coaching baseball and serving as a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts. He was a devoted in his faith and a longtime member of the Smithville United Methodist Church.
In his later years, Gene proudly earned his pilot’s license, bought an airplane, and enjoyed his travels. Gene delighted in dancing, and was always the first one out on the dance floor. He square danced with the Boots and Bows Club in Smithville for 40 years, and also took clogging lessons. He met his next love, Sandy Nelson at a dance and they never stopped dancing. In 1993, Gene was united in marriage to Sandy. They shared 27 years, were fortunate to share many travels to Mexico, and found enjoyment in their last 8 years wintering in Texas.
Gene will remain in the hearts of his wife, Sandy; children, Ginger Stainbrook of Arvada, CO, Rex (Mary) Littrell of Houston, TX and Mark (Debie) Littrell of Lenexa, KS; grandson and son-at-heart, Tim Littrell of Springfield, MO; stepchildren, Kenny (Danielle) Langenfeld of Hastings, MN, and Dana (Dan) Cross of Altamonte, FL; grandchildren, Tim Littrell, Josh (Renae) Littrell, Joel Stainbrook, Stephanie Littrell, Krystal (Brady) Webb, and Marshall Littrell; step-grandchildren, Bonnie Kisch, Jesse, Jerod, Jack, McKenzie and Megan Langenfeld, Maleah Murray, Alec and Canyon Cross; 9 great-grandchildren; brother, Joe (Shirley) Littrell of Huntley, MT; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Norma; son, Otis; stepsons, Patrick Langenfeld and Brad Welch; sisters, Colleen Wiedner and Phyllis Hoover.
A Visitation (Respecting social distancing, encouraging the use of masks, and limiting 10 people at a time into the funeral home) will take place 4:00–7:00 PM Sunday, May 31, 2020 at the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home, 225 S. 3rd St., River Falls, WI. Funeral services will be held 12:30 PM Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at the United Methodist Church, 505 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, MO. Visitation will take place starting at 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the church Wednesday. Interment will take place at Terrace Park Cemetery in Kansas City, MO. Gene’s grandchildren will serve as pallbearers. In Gene’s memory, memorials are preferred to the Smithville United Methodist Church.
Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of River Falls, WI (715) 425-5644, and Terrace Park Funeral Home in Kansas City, MO (816) 734-5500.