Barton Russell

Barton O. Russell

1932 - 2005

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Obituary of Barton O. Russell

Bart died peacefully at home on December 13, 2005 with his wife and family by his side. He was born May 30, 1932, in Toivola, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Preceding him in death were his parents, Ernest and Mamie (Harju) Russell, his brother Ronald, his first wife Joan, and his son Daniel. He was proud of his Finnish-Irish heritage, and his Finnish "Sisu," or perseverance, which helped him in his years' long struggle against lung disease. He is survived by his wife Gretchen, sister Carolyn, children Douglas, Diane, Debra, Mike, Bridget, stepchildren Rachel, Matthew and Ben, 13 grandchildren, and longtime friend Pat. Bart accomplished many things in his life and worked in many fields, including logging, mining, long haul trucking, as a sheriff's deputy in Colorado, and as a teamster general foreman in the Tacoma Tideflats on the Prudoe Bay project. But his most rewarding work was in the submarine service of the U.S. Navy, which began aboard diesel subs in the 1940s. His final shipboard post was as Chief of the Boat of the USS Ethan Allen, one of the nation's earliest nuclear ballistic missile submarines. Friends and family will miss Bart's dry humor, quick wit and colorful expressions. Those who knew him saw through his salty exterior to a great heart. The family wants to thank Dr Roth for his compassionate care of Bart, and Franciscan Hospice for making it possible for Bart to spend his last weeks in his home on the Sound. Donations can be made in Bart's name to the American Lung Association. Following private inurnment at Tahoma National Cemetery, a memorial Service will take place 2PM Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at Peninsula Lutheran Church 6509 38th Ave. NW in Gig Harbor, WA, 98335.
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