Age 69, of Stillwater, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on September 21, 2022.
Russ was the firstborn child of Bob and Shirley Durand. He entered this world on February 25, 1953, a mere 6 months after Bob and Shirl were married. He was the light of his mother’s life, being a happy, yet very serious child. Russ was a worthy first son.
It wasn’t all that much later that his then 17-year-old mother gave birth to Gary, followed closely by Connie and then Laurie, making Russ the big brother to all. At the time, the family was living in River Falls and Russ was just starting Catholic school. Russ was a very good student and even at this early age, seemed wise beyond his years. With so many children in the home, times were tough and money was scarce, but love always flowed freely and was in abundance.
As Russ approached high school, his athletic prowess really started to show, becoming an impressive all-around athlete. He participated in football, wrestling and was a record-setting track star, all along the way making friends for life. During this time the family continued to grow, and his sisters Renee, Karen and Melissa were born.
Russ graduated from River Falls High School in 1971 and the real adventures in life ensued. He started working for Andersen Windows and traveled along the eastern part of the United States. After returning home he realized he liked traveling so much, that he headed out with some friends hitchhiking and hiking through the mountains in the Western United States. Russ loved to take everything in around him and has always had a profound respect for the beauty and mysteries this world had to offer. His love of travel eventually led him back to school to become a truck driver which he did for many years allowing him to pursue his love of traveling all over the U.S.
Russ’ home was Stillwater, MN where he met the love of his life, Mic (Michelle). In 1986, he made the wise decision of taking her as his wife, and her daughters Gina & Jill as his girls. Russ became the most loving husband and father figure one could aspire to be. It was at this point Russ started working locally because he finally had something to stick around for. Russ began hanging drywall, eventually owning Durand Drywall.
They lived on 2nd Street for many years and did many renovations creating a beautiful home. It was a neighborhood hub and you would often find the Martin kids partaking in the fun. While the girls were in grade school, Mic was attending college, so Russ took on the task of coaching their soccer teams for many years. Eventually, they bought their current home on 1st Street and took on many more renovations that transformed it into a sanctuary and epicenter for family and friends.
As time passed, the family expanded. Gina married Nick Magnuson and Jill married Chris Oswald. Gina and Nick brought their firstborn child, Ryder, into the world and Russ’ life would evolve again as he became affectionately known as “Gpa”. Jill and Chris then welcomed Landon into this world, while Nick and Gina followed with Julia and Luella. He adored each and every one of his grandchildren and loved the uniqueness each one of them brought to his life. Pride was bountiful, and it showed on his face.
Over the years he continued to travel, spending time in Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, and places too numerous to mention. One of his goals was to take on the task of going to the high point in every state. Russ loved the outdoors, he enjoyed fishing, photography and many other outdoor activities. He seemed happiest though when just being, seeing, and experiencing the nature around him. He and Mic opened a pottery studio in their basement and loved inviting friends and family to share in this passion.
In the past few years Russ and Mic purchased a condo in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina. Russ enjoyed spending his days on the beach walking and hunting for Shark teeth or anything cool he could find.
Throughout his life Russ has been a son, brother, friend, husband, father, and Gpa. Whatever role he played in your life, you know Russ always surrounded himself with people he held dear. He never missed an opportunity to bring people into his home and life. The door was both figuratively and literally always open. Not a day passed without neighbors, family, and friends swinging by to see him, sit for a spell, and just to be around him. He would grab his mug of coffee and kindly offer an ear, listening to your stories while you sought his sound advice. Russ was the wise sage we all needed. He loved every minute of this. He loved all of you.
After a 2 week stay in the hospital, 3 surgeries and extreme pain, his body just couldn’t take it any longer. He left us at 12:15 Sept 21 surrounded by Mic and his girls, Gina and Jill.
Preceded in death by parents, Robert and Shirley; and brother, Gary. He will be sadly missed by wife, Michelle; daughters, Gina (Nick) Magnuson, Jill (Chris) Oswald; grandchildren, Ryder, Julia and Luella Magnuson and Landon Oswald; sisters, Connie Killgallon, Laurie (Tom) Hanford, Renee Pelton, Karen (Rick) Forster, Melissa (Kelly Kilgore) Durand; many in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.
Please join us as we celebrate Russ on Monday, September 26, 2022, 12:00 P.M. at BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER, 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater with visitation beginning at 10:30 A.M. Lunch and sharing of memories will follow at the Durand Home.