Richard L Russell

Richard L. Russell

Richard passed away peacefully on June 5, 2016, after a lovely day hiking in the Cascade Mountains.

Rick was born on August 20, 1931, in Hartford, Connecticut, to Ellen Forselius and Chester Russell. As an only child, he developed strong friendships in his Irish Catholic neighborhood.

Most days were spent playing baseball, riding bikes and hanging out. He also thrived as a Boy Scout and developed a love for the outdoors. Rick was able to travel back to Connecticut in the fall of 2014 to spend time in the old neighborhood, visit five of his first cousins, and share his history with his love, Maureen.

After high school, Rick joined the U.S. Air Force and spent four years as a jet engine mechanic/technician, stationed in the Phoenix area. There he met his future wife, Joyce. They had four sons together: Steven, Terry, Eric and Richard. Rick pursued his education at the University of Phoenix during this time, also. This marriage dissolved in the early 60’s and Rick moved to the northwest eventually settling in the Kent area. His sons lived with him at various times during those years. He loved having them. He and his second wife, Vivian Helland, built a four bedroom home to accommodate all of the boys. In the meantime, they had Rick’s youngest son together. Kurtis was born and raised in Kent.

Rick worked as an engineer for Ingersoll Rand for many years. This allowed him to travel the world investigating mining operations for the company. He spent time in Asia and Europe. He eventually finished his engineering career at Boeing. Still, he was not done. He began his own contracting company, Nordic Custom Builders, and built numerous homes in the Puget Sound area. Rick retired finally in 1998.

At that time, he began to pursue all of the outdoor activities he loved. He wind surfed, back packed, biked, ran, skied, kayaked and raced his sports car at Pacific Raceways. He was in his 60’s at this time. He joined a mountain biking club in those years and the other, much younger members, gave him the nick name Dino Rick. Some of his closest friends were in that Single Track Mind Biking Club.

Rick’s wife, Vivian, passed away in 2008. In the years since then he kept busy with boats, road biking, spinning at the gym and staying active. It was on a road biking trip with the Kent Senior Center in 2010 that he met Maureen. They introduced each other to brand new worlds of travel, friends, poker groups, bike tours, pets and family.

He is survived by his five sons, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He also leaves behind his partner, Maureen Curran. Services were held at Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn on June 15, 2016.

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