Russell Alphonse Rulau, age 86, of Iola, died Monday, November 12th, 2012 at his residence. Born Sept. 21, 1926 at Chicago, Ill., and raised during the Depression in Milwaukee, Wis., he graduated with honors from Bay View High School in Jan. 1944. Being 17 and desirous of joining the Army, he took a job at a Cicero, IL defense plant until turning 18, then volunteered for Army service at Fort Sheridan, IL. After 17 weeks' infantry reconnaissance scout training at Camp Fannin, Texas, he was shipped to the Pacific theater and volunteered for airborne training, completing jump/glider school in Luzon and was assigned to 187th Infantry, 11th Airborne Division, serving therewith until July, 1947 on Luzon, Okinawa, Honshu and Hokkaido.
He often stated the high point of his service came July 30, 1945 when he was assigned to General Macarthur's arrival honor guard from among the first combat troops to reach Japan at Atsugi Field the evening before.
He reenlisted in 1947 and was assigned as an Army recruiting sergeant in Milwaukee, being discharged April 27, 1950. He joined the newly-formed USAF Reserve April 28, 1950 and was called to active duty for the Korean War Oct. 22, 1950, remaining with the Air Force until Dec. 17, 1962. Then he rejoined the Air Force Reserve through May 2, 1973, though he was not called for Vietnam War service. His rank was Master Sergeant.
The most important duties he performed in the Cold War Air Force was as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Intelligence Message Branch of United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) in Germany 1958-59 and as sergeant major of a combined Army-Navy-Air Force-Atomic Energy Commission nuclear unit in New Mexico during the Cuban missile crisis of October, 1962.
Though lacking formal education, he began a long career as writer-editor- author-consultant in the numismatic field beginning in December, 1962, rising from staff writer to full editor in just nine months with Amos Press, Sidney, Ohio. He joined Krause Publications as a newspaper editor in April 1974, taking early retirement August, 1984 and becoming a self-employed author and consultant. He was appointed in 1985 by England's Pobjoy Mint as vice president of U.S. sales operations, leaving this service in December, 1998. He received awards from Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush I, and from Governors Dreyfus and McCallum. In 1993 he was awarded the Clemy, highest honor of the Numismatic Literary Guild; was made a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society, New York in 1999, and was inducted into the Numismatic Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs in 2000.
A Republican from age 15 onward, he served as Waupaca County GOP vice chairman 1977-79; chairman 1979-82; 3rd vice chairman of the Wisconsin GOP 1981-83.
The son of Alphonse Rulau and Ruth Terine Thorsen, he married Darlene Grizzell on Feb 1, 1968 in Sidney, Ohio. She preceded him in death in 2008. He is survived by nine children, 20 grandchildren and four great-grand children. He was a life member of the VFW and commander of its Iola post for eight terms, Also active in the American Legion, 11th Airborne Division Association and 187th RCT (Rakkasans) association. His favorite charities were the Salvation Army and a Russian couple he hosted in the U.S.A. in 1992.
He has long been considered the number one token authority in the United States and Latin America and has written extensively on all numismatic subjects from ancient times to the present, with 17 books to his credit. In early 2006 he began a new career path with Krause Publications, authoring an Internet catalog of all U.S. tokens from 1700 through 1900.
A Memorial Service will be held at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Iola at 11:30 am on Friday, November 16th, with Reverend Dennis Olson officiating. Memorial Visitation will be held Friday 10:30 am - 11:30 am. at the church. Interment of Cremains with full Military Rites will be in the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, Wisconsin.
Register Book and online condolences may be sent by visiting www.voiefuneralhome.com
Voie Funeral Home 120 S. Main St Iola, WI. 54945 715-445-2560