Ernest L. Russell, 65, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday March 7, 2013. He was born on
July 31, 1947 in Wenatchee, WA to Donald and Hazel (Kohn) Russell. He attended West Valley
Schools until he graduated in 1965. One of his first jobs was picking fruit so he could afford his
own bicycle. He played many sports during his school years and continued with baseball into his
adulthood. He was a true Mariners fan, even when they were losing.
Ernie was in the Air Force and served in Vietnam where he received a purple heart. After his
time in the military he returned to live in Yakima.
As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed his yearly fishing and hunting trips with the guys, as well as
many good days spent fishing by himself in the comfort of his boat. He enjoyed spending time at
his cabin at Twin Lakes, and was looking forward to going back up there this year. This last elk
season was very exciting for him, when on opening day four people at his camp, himself included,
shot an elk. Graybeard will be missed by his hunting buddies.
Ernie was a family man. He loved doing things with his family. He especially enjoyed our
yearly trips to get a Christmas tree and to go sledding. He would always make sure he was free on
Thursdays for his weekly breakfast with the guys. Ernie was a natural handyman and could fix
anything. He was always ready and willing to help anyone who needed him.
In February 2011 he had open heart surgery. He maintained a positive attitude throughout the
entire process which helped speed up his recovery. He worked at Bernd Moving Systems for over
35 years and fully enjoyed his last 2 years being retired. He was looking forward to being able to
do more travelling and catching up on his hobbies.
Ernie (Papa by the airport) is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sheila Russell, three sons: Andy
(Lorie) Russell of Yakima, Tom (Melissa) Russell of Selah and Joey Russell of Yakima, two daughters: Rindy Russell- Hutchinson (Paul) of Everett and Landa Jeffery of Hawaii, six grandchildren: Chase, Hunter, Tommy, Tim (Crystal), Dustin and Alyssa, and one great-grandson, Timmy. He is also survived by four brothers: Don (Sharon) Russell of Naches, Dick (Linda) Russell of Selah, Bob (Rita) Russell of
Gleed, Jerry (Kathy) Russell of Yakima, two sisters: Pat (Bill) Sands of Michigan and Betty Russell
of Yakima, one sister and brother-in-law, Joellen and Jim Bennett of Yakima and many wonderful
nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Shirley Miller, one niece and one nephew.
Visitation will be Monday, March 11, 2013 from 4-8:00 p.m. at Keith & Keith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at Noon. The funeral will be held at Rainier Memorial Center, formerly Keith & Keith Terrace Heights Chapel, 2807 Terrace Heights Dr. Burial will follow at Terrace Heights Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American
or Children's Village.
To share a memory, please visit www.keithandkeith.com.