Ronald Russell Obituary

Ronald L. Russell
Ronald L. Russell
Ronald L. Russell

August 19, 1934 - December 19, 2007
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Rural Adel, IA
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Ronald L. Russell, 73, died December 19, 2007 , at Kavanagh House, having lived half as long as he expected and twice as long as he should have.

Ron was born August 19, 1934, to Harold and Edna (Purcell) Russell during one of the hottest summers on record in Des Moines, IA, for which his mother never forgave him. He was the youngest of six children, a twin and a constant source of worry and frustration to those who loved him. He was farm raised and survived a Midwest education with no serious repercussions. After graduating from Austin, Minnesota High School in 1952, he joined the Navy and served in the Korean War, which instilled in him his life long passion for patriotism and love of the American flag.

Ron had a constant thirst for knowledge and never ceased trying to broaden his education about anything and everything. He enjoyed conversations with anyone and provided numerous bars in the Des Moines area with reference libraries to settle arguments and to prove he was usually right.

His father encouraged him to find out what was over the next hill or around the next bend, and he heeded this advice. He was a daring individual who tried everything from sky diving to scuba diving, skiing the Alps to living in Belize.

He stubbed his toes during a few marriages and finally got it right when he met the love of his life, Gay, in 1986. She equaled and understood his humor, quips and intolerance of stupidity (referring to Democrats), and helped smooth some of the rough edges of his winning personality. As one daughter said of her father; "loved by many, and screw the rest".

Ron was president of Continental Construction Company, Inc., and was a pioneer in the Des Moines area for poured concrete foundations.

Ron is survived by wife Gay, daughters Linda Santiago of Oxnard, CA, Julie Santoro of Canyon Country, CA, sons Jon Russell of Des Moines and Kelly Thorp of Ankeny, daughters Stephanie Russell of Escondido, CA and Natalie Donovan of Lawrence, KS; sister Juanita Finestead of Urbandale, brothers Eldon of Boone, Gale of Urbandale and Don of Billings, MT; 8 grandchildren, a great grandson and numerous nieces and nephews, who were admonished by their parents NOT to grow up like Uncle Ron.

The family would like to thank Dr. Thomas Buroker and his nurses, and Hospice of Central Iowa for their care, loving support and attentiveness during his illness.

A celebration of Ron's life will be held for all friends, foes and family at Denny Arthur's, 86th & Hickman in Urbandale on Saturday, December 29, 2007, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Please join in the revelry and lift a Bud Light in his memory ...whether to reflect on his wit and charm or to toast his passing with a sigh of relief.


Click here to view memorial folder




Denny Arthur's
86th & Hickman
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Saturday, December 29, 2007
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM