“Russ” Russell Edward Walker, 89, of Sheridan, WY, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 14, 2020, while under the exceptional care of the Sheridan VA.
Russ was born on September 13, 1930, to John and Gertrude (Cannon) Walker in Oelwein, Iowa. Russ was one of 15 siblings. He was preceded in death by his parents, 12 siblings and his beloved wife, “Frankie” Frances Louise (Erickson) Walker.
Russ won the heart of his wife, Frankie, in a similar fashion to how he approached life, with hard work and determination. They married on June 7, 1952, and enjoyed 49 years of marriage before being separated by death. Russ and Frankie had four children they leave behind in legacy, Eric (Jan) Walker of Canby, OR, Julia Walker (Ed Finley) of Woodburn, OR, Lidgia (Scott) Hawken of Lubbock, TX and Katherine (Paul) Christopherson of Sheridan, WY, as well as 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Over his lifetime, Russ could be known as an athlete, coach, teacher, story writer and life-long learner. He worked on the Alaska Railroad in 1949 before serving his country in the U.S. Army. Upon completion of his service, Russ finished college and embarked on his career as a woodshop teacher in both Iowa and Oregon. He developed a love for nature and grew bountiful gardens and was an expert tree planter and tender. His love of wood and trees also found an outlet for his artistry as he crafted many beautiful creations. After retirement from public schools, he turned his love of teaching into countless Bible study opportunities in the church as well as with friends and neighbors as he had a deep desire for others to know the love of Jesus Christ as he had found.
Russ’s last 8 years were a testament to his character and leave us with much to ponder as we reflect on his legacy. Strength stolen by stroke, a wheelchair his constant companion, the resilient fighter in Russ remained. He continued to teach and encourage others. He defied medical predictions both in the length of time on earth and physical capabilities to regain. Russ spent countless hours dedicated to strengthening his body and mind through the generous provision of the VA, YMCA, the Senior Center, Sugarland Ridge, a myriad of service providers and the support of his family. Everywhere Russ went, they remember him singing and joking while he worked to get strong.
Russ will be laid to rest next to his late wife in Oelwein, Iowa. His celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations on his behalf to the Sheridan County YMCA of Wyoming (FES Program or Give Your Heart to a Child Program).
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com. Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.