Life Story for Russell Light
Russell Francis Light, 88, of Lexington, Indiana, passed away on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at his residence. He was born in Bay City, Michigan on February 11, 1928.
Russell Francis Light is survived by his devoted wife Martha (Scott) Light of Indiana, his son Ty (Susan) Knox of New York, his daughters Kelleen (David) Brannon of Indiana, Pamela Simmons of South Carolina and Claudia (Steve) Fleeman of Illinois; also 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Lucy and William Light, his brothers Gerald Light, Leslie Light, Miles Light, Delbert Light, his sister Norma Agnew, his son Ross Light and his daughter Kimberly Jean Stoner.
Born and raised in Bay City, Michigan Russell joined the Merchant Marines at the age of 16. At 17 years old he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 1945 to 1949. The Marines loaned him to the Navy where he attended several schools to learn diving and salvage operations. While there he was part of a small crew assigned to test the current dive tables before the Navy accepted them for use. Mr. Light was then assigned to the crew assisting the salvage and removal of the sunken ships to clear Pearl Harbor.
After leaving the service he began his own business that would continue for over 50 years, R.F. Light Diving and Salvage was a go-to company for the Corps. of Engineers over the years. In 1964 Mr. Light dove and recovered the Civil War ship the USS Cairo. This ship is now on display at the USS Cairo Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1978 he worked of the coast of France salvaging the Amaco Cadiz which turned into the largest job ever for his company. In the early 1980's he donated several pieces of this antique equipment to the Man in the Sean Museum in Panama City Beach, Florida. Over the years Mr. Light was recognized by the United Nations for this assistance. One ship he recovered was a Spanish Galleon that now has items in the Smithsonian Institute. He traveled worldwide salvaging and recovering vessels, working on bridge construction, dam construction, in shipyards, and all manner of underwater work including demolition using explosives. After retiring Mr. Light volunteered for Habitat for Humanity building homes and as a water quality tester for the Central Muscatatuck Watershed Project, and became a member of the V.F. W. There was a full page article published about him the The Madison Courier on August 16, 2008.
The family would like to thank Loretta Ardery for her caring and kindness. He will be truly missed.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
Online condolences can be sent at lytlefuneralhomes.com