Ernie Russell

July 31, 1947March 7, 2013
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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 Heart Assn. or Children’s Village. To share a memory, please visit


  • Visitation Monday, March 11, 2013
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ernie Russell

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Joseph Russell

April 12, 2013

What can one really say, you have been a great father to three stubborn kids. I can't help but look back on all the lessons learned, all the good times we had together and all the memories I won't forget. You were always there for us whenever anyone needed it. It has been sad having to live without you around, and I miss all the general BS we would spew back and forth. I'm glad we got to have some time together over the last few years to really get into hunting and fishing together. I think that brought us closer together. Maybe you don't know it but I really enjoyed those times together, even though I never really expressed it. I wish we could have just one more hunting season together. All my love.

Sheila Russell

March 28, 2013

I have thought for many days about what to say about the love of my life, and I can't seem to find the words to express just how much he meant to me. He was the best husband anyone could ever want and the best Dad the kids could have had. He made every day special. There is a hole in my heart now that he is gone. It will never be filled. I will love him forever. Sheila

Landa Jeffery (Russell)

March 14, 2013

Daddy, it's your little girl, Landa.

I guess I've always seen you as Daddy since you and mom divorced when I was three.

That was hard for me. I felt like I lost my Daddy. I was caught in the middle. You did your best to keep in touch with Rin and I, but it was so difficult. I was very sensitive and shy and just wasn't strong enough. Eventually I shut down inside. It hurt so bad, and I missed you so much.

I was so proud you had been in the Air Force. I joined because of you and told everyone you had been in the AF too. I studied so hard to make E-5 and did it on the first try, back when that was very difficult. I felt so proud to wear the stripes you did.

I was transferred to Japan, then South Carolina, Sacramento, Virginia, Illinois and Hawaii. But there was always a hole in my heart because I missed you. And you never gave up on me.

I was so glad to see you in 2011 and have you meet your granddaughter, Alyssa.

I loved hearing from you even when you teased me. Before surgery on my wrist in November, you texted me, "No tootin' in the OR." Lol

I wish I had more time with you. I believe everything happens for a reason, but it's still hard to accept you're gone. Why did it have to end like this?

I love you, Daddy. I hope you heard me through my tears when I talked to you at the funeral.

I'll go now as tears are blurring the screen.

Love, your little girl,


Rindy Russell-Hutchinson

March 13, 2013

Dad.....what can I say except I lok forward to seeing you again. God must have really needed a good man who knew how to fix everyhing. I will always remember the nickname you gave me "Half pint". No one else will be able to call me that because it was our special moments. Your grandchildren will miss you terribly but with all the stories everyone has it will be easier. Please remember that no one could ever take yoir place in our hearts. My dad, my mentor, my counselor, my friend. Love always and forever - your daughter Rin

Peggy (O'Neill) Anderson

March 12, 2013

Ernie was a wonderful man. He coached our girls softball team for a couple years, made practicing fun and was always great at encouraging our team. I babysat his girls when they were very young and always enjoyed being around the Russell family. My prayers are with you all as you go through this time of grief. Though the times I ran into Ernie became fewer and farther between, each time I'd run into him were always the same, a big hug and smile that would light up any room. I would always feel like that kid on his team again.

Rich & Lu Allgood

March 12, 2013

Twin Lakes will bot be the same without Ernie. Rich & I will never forget his infectious SMILE and great sense of humor. May God Bless and comfort Sheila and the boys at this most difficult time. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you, and may your many wonderful memories comfort you.

Rich & Lu Allgood (Ephrata, Wa.)

Andy Russell

March 12, 2013

Andy Russell

March 12, 2013

March 11, 2013

My brother,My friend, My hunting buddy. You will truely be missed.

Bob, Rita Russell

Becky Cort

March 11, 2013

My thoughts and prayers for the Russell family. Ernie was a great husband, father, friend, and employee. I will never forget his smile when he received a new truck for his 25th anniversary with his employer. He came by Indland Pipe & Supply to show Sheila and her coworkers! Thank you for the memories. May you find peace and comfort knowing he is dancing with the angels - with an infectious smile.