July 15, 1926 ~ August 30, 2012
Russell Hix Teeter, 86, died Aug. 30, 2012, of congestive heart failure. He and his identical twin, William J, were born July 15, 1926, near Pottsville, Arkansas, to William D. and E. Wave Russell Teeter. The twins loved to tell stories of their “Tom Sawyer” boyhood hunting, working on the farm, picking cotton, baling hay, fooling their teachers, playing sports, and socializing on nearby Crow Mountain. They attended Pottsville schools, enlisting in the Navy upon graduation at age 17 in 1943, attending boot camp together and both serving on the U.S.S. Waukesha.
As enlisted men in uniform on the same ship, they had many stories of how they fooled the officer, who could not tell them apart. Their ship was one of the first to enter Tokyo Bay after the bombing of Japan. Russell later described viewing the terrible destruction of Nagasaki just weeks after the bomb was dropped. They were discharged at the end of the war at age 19. During their enlistment, their parents sold the farm and moved near their paternal grandparents to Corpus Christi, Texas. The twins attended La Mar Junior College in Corpus Christi and graduated from Southern Methodist University on the GI Bill earning degrees in marketing.
Russell and William shared most everything until William’s marriage, including a “Teeter Brothers” joint checking account and co-ownership of a car. Both went to work for large companies, Russell with Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. He met his wife, Colleen Hutchison, while working in Corpus Christi, where they were married in 1954. He was transferred several times, living in Houston, San Antonio (where their children were born) and Austin before they became aware of a Skelly station for sale in Caldwell, KS, near Colleen’s home town of South Haven, KS.
With financial help from their families, he purchased the station in 1960, renaming it Teeter Oil Company and becoming a Skelly Oil Jobber. For many years, Russell operated the station from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week. At least once a week, he would drive his own gasoline transport truck after the station closed to El Dorado, buy a load of gas, return to Caldwell to unload it and get up to go to work the next day. Teeter Oil Co. provided both retail service as well as tire and fuel services to area farmers and custom wheat cutters. Russell was active in the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club and the United Methodist Church. In the early 1970s Russell was interviewed by the Kansas City Star during the nationwide fuel shortage that saw lines of gasoline customers at most service stations.
In 1977, Russell suffered a heart attack and was forced to sell Teeter Oil Co. After Russell regained his health, he became a rural mail carrier, which he continued until his retirement. He always enjoyed watching his children and then his grandchildren play sports. He was a faithful volunteer for the Caldwell Recycling Center after retirement. During their retirement, Russell and Colleen traveled extensively with friends and family including Alaska, Egypt, Panama and Brazil. They attended reunions of his Navy ship annually in locations all over the United States for many years. Colleen died in 2008; they were married 54 years. Russell moved to Life Care Center of Wichita in 2011 to be near his daughter.
Russell is survived by his twin William J. Teeter, Houston, Texas, his daughter Nancy Teeter Wiebe (Cal) of Wichita and son David Teeter (Kristi) of Caldwell; six grandchildren, Andrew Wiebe, Brooklyn, NY; Joel Wiebe, Olathe, KS; Lauren Wiebe, Hays, KS; Megan Teeter Quillin (J.J.), Olathe, KS; Kaile Teeter, Caldwell; and Mason Teeter, Emporia, KS. Also surviving are seven nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be given in Russell's name to the United Methodist Church in Caldwell or to the Caldwell Recycling Center.
Cherre & Harry M House
Family and Friends - 08/30/2012
Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of Russell. Russell and Colleen are joined again, hand in hand.
C & H
Family and Friends - 08/31/2012
My wish for you is that you will remember and enjoy the memories you have of your dad...all of them. Your memories will keep your dad close to your heart. Its good to remember who he was in every area of his life.
God keep you,
Ted and Nancy Knopp
Family and Friends - 09/01/2012
Russell and Colleen were such supportive grandparents, attending lots of games in Wichita. It was a pleasure to have known them. Russell always had a warm smile and a ready story to share.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. May happy memories bring comfort.
Family and Friends - 09/01/2012
I always valued visits with both Colleen and Russell. May the knowledge that they are reunited and awaiting a reunion with the rest of their family bring you comfort at this time of loss.