Russel, Bruce Earl (1944-2011)

Bruce Russell, 66, died Thursday, January 13, 2011 at his residence in Thief River Falls, MN.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at Zion Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, MN, with Rev. John Golv officiating. Interment was held at Holt Cemetery, Holt, MN.

Bruce Earl Russell was born June 28, 1944 in Thief River Falls, MN to Kenneth Maurice and Helena Elizabeth (Rupprecht) Russell. He was baptized and confirmed at Silver Creek Lutheran Church. He was raised on the Russell farm in Excel Township. The farm was purchased by his grandfather in 1911 and this year is a centennial farm. He attended school in Thief River Falls, MN and graduated in 1962.

During his youth, he was very active in his church, 4-H and FFA. In high school, he played football and was a class officer. In 1960, he was chosen the Minnesota Tractor King and attended the national 4-H congress in Chicago. Following graduation he worked for Ronnie Sculthorp driving mail truck, Len’s Tire Service, along with farming with his father.

On September 18, 1965, he married Sharon Rae Knutson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN. They lived in Thief River Falls until June of 1966, before moving to the family farm where they have since lived. On February 16, 1967, they were blessed with a baby girl, Cindi Lou Russell, (her dad named her from a favorite song of his).

On January 21, 1969, they were again blessed with a daughter, Brenda Rae Russell. His girls were the light of his life. While the girls were growing up there were many school and church prograns, swimming meets, basketball and softball games to attend. When the school had a strike, he and the other parents loaded the swim team up and brought them to UND in Grand Forks to practice and finish the season.

In 1975, Bruce purchased the H & R Block franchise with his father-in-law in Thief River Falls. Later, they added offices in Oklee and Roseau. He sold the business in December 2004. Bruce often said he missed his clients, but it was time for fun and travel.

Bruce was very proud of the fact that he and Sharon had travelled in all 50 states and the major Canadian provinces. Grandchildren came along and there were music recitals, ball games, hockey, church and school programs to attend. Family camping to a lake on holiday weekends, deer hunting with son-in-law, Mark and grandsons, Ben and Brandon and helpng son-in-law Brian with beet planting and harvest were also special times.

Silver Creek Lutheran Church was very important to him and he held various offices, mowed the church yard and other jobs that needed doing with his church family. He was the “Permanent” member of the cemetery board and on this past Wednesday night, they had their annual meeting.

He is sadly and greatly missed by his wife of 45 years, Sharon, Thief River Falls; daughters, Cindi (Mark) Bondy, Moorhead, MN and Brenda (Brian) Kasprick, Angus, MN; six grandchildren, Ben, Allie and Katie Bondy, Brittany, Brandon and Brady Kasprick. Also surviving are three sisters, Betty Larson, Carrington, ND, Lorraine (Dale) Grondahl, Buffalo, MN and Marjorie (Henry) Panek, rural Thief River Falls, MN, along with many nieces and nephews, several cousins, Aunt Ida Rupprecht, Thief River Falls, and Aunt Midge Russell, California.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Maurice Russell; brother-in-law, Don Larson; sister-in-law, Shirley Russell; nephew, John Panek; and great-niece, Emily Jordt.

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky