A Funeral Service for Russell “Russ” Thomson, age 77, of Spirit Lake, formerly of Everly and Harris, will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 10:30am, at First Presbyterian Church in Spirit Lake. To watch the live stream of the service, visit FPC Spirit Lake – YouTube. Interment will be at Lakeview Gardens Cemetery in Okoboji. Visitation will take place prior to the service from 9:30-10:30am at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given to the Alzheimer’s Association at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or by visiting their website, https://act.alz.org/donate.
Russ passed away on April 26, 2023, at Accura Healthcare in Spirit Lake.
Russell Wayne Thomson, Russ, was born in Ontario, Canada, on April 27, 1945. At the age of 12 he moved with his family to the United States. His family settled in Fresno, California, where, at age 19, he met his future wife, Patricia, who was 17 at the time. They would both tell you it was love at first sight. Russ and Pat were married on March 5, 1966.
Russ was drafted into the U.S. Army at the age of 20 and served in the Vietnam war. He was a true patriot and loved the fraternity of fellow veterans. He proudly became a US citizen in 1985.
After his tour-of-duty, Russ and Pat moved to Worthington, Minnesota. They later settled and raised their young family in Harris, Iowa. When they were close to retirement, in 2006, Russ and Pat purchased a hobby farm just outside of Everly, Iowa, where they had a wonderful time together ‘playing on the farm’. They truly enjoyed the animals they cared for, including cattle, horses, chickens, cats, dogs, and one lone sheep named Yup Yup. The grandkids have wonderful memories playing with Grandpa and Grandma on their acreage, and driving the golf cart as soon as their feet could reach the pedals. Russ and Pat moved to Spirit Lake in 2014.
Russ earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Mankato State University. He was the first generation in his family to graduate from college. For most of his working life he was employed as a top model maker at Pure Fishing, in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Russ loved his job, and often shared how grateful he was to do something he loved for a living. He was a wonderful craftsman and could build almost anything, from a highly calibrated piece of machinery to an addition onto his home. He had many hobbies, including building and flying model airplanes, bike riding, roller blading, photography, and motorcycle riding. Russ especially enjoyed time camping out with his family.
Russ loved his wife, Pat, dearly. He always said that he had prayed as a young man that God would bring him a partner in life who would be his best friend, and when he met Pat, he knew that prayer had been answered. He was proud of the family he and Pat had raised together, and toward the end of his life, spent many hours enjoying photos and videos of his kids and grandkids. It was Russ’s hope that his daughters and grandchildren would have happy memories with “Grandpa Russ”.
All who knew Russ knew that he loved life, and admired his positive and joyful spirit, even through many years of failing health. Russ had a deep faith, which he leaned into throughout his life. He was loved and will be missed by many.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Patricia Thomson of Spirit Lake, Iowa; daughters: Sandie (Curt) Smith of Spirit Lake, Iowa; Lisa (Todd) Schuelka of Ames, Iowa; Christina (Brian) Anderson of New York, New York; grandchildren: Elizabeth (Adrian) Araguas, Emily Smith, Ellie Smith, Sirena Lindsay, Josiah Schuelka, Olivia Schuelka, Oliver Anderson, and Annika Anderson; great-grandchildren: Oscar Araguas and Bruno Araguas; several nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Russ was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Keith (June) Thomson of Auburn, Washington; and son, David (died 1966).
The Thomson family gives thanks to God for all the wonderful years and memories of Russ.
Turner Jenness Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.