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Russell Mellom, 58

Russell Wicks Mellom, age 58, a longtime resident of Howard Lake, died Saturday, July 25, 2009, after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer.

He was born Feb. 17, 1951, in Spring Grove, MN, the third of six children born to Donald and Eileen Mellom. Russ spent his boyhood years in Rose Creek, MN, Davenport, IA, and south Minneapolis. At age 8, his family moved to St. Paul.

As a youngster, Russ participated in Boy Scouts, taking a keen interest in its outdoor experience.

He had religious instruction at First Lutheran Church, with the tutorials of Ms. Berry, whose spellbinding stories of the Biblical prophets were first rate.

He also enjoyed sports, which he continued into his adult years.

Russ graduated from Harding High School in 1969, and continued his education at the universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin-River Falls. He did not receive a degree, but established new friendships and reaffirmed others.

He started working at age 14, landing his first job through First Lutheran Church at their Bay Lake summer camp. During the school year, Russell worked at Diamond Jim’s in Lilydale, and eventually tended bar at the St. Paul Hilton, the Radisson of Minneapolis, and the St. Paul Pool and Yacht Club.

He was also a skilled welder and worked, at various times, for several different manufacturing companies, the last of which was Lakeland Engineering.

As anyone who ever conversed with Russ on politics realized, Russ was a critic of government politics.

He was a self-taught guitar player, and liked to sing his own songs, campfire style, at home on Howard Lake.

He also enjoyed the sport of hunting, especially for pheasant and ruffled grouse.

Russ is survived by his mother, Eileen; sisters Carol, Joyce, and Melissa Johnson; brothers Larry and Peter; nieces Sonja Burseth, and Leah, Marie, and Jenny Johnson; and nephew Daniel Burseth.

A memorial service took place Sunday, Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake, with visitation for one hour prior to the service.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake.