Ralph E. Russell, 93

Ralph Enoch Russell, age 93, of Dassel, passed away Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at the Cokato Manor.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, followed by interment at the church cemetery.

There will be visitation Friday, Sept. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.; continuing Saturday at the church, one hour prior to the Mass.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Arrangements are with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cokato; www.swansonpeterson.com.

Ralph was born July 7, 1926, in Cokato, to Enoch and Hilda (Tiller) Russell.

He graduated from Beaver Dam Dassel High School.

Russell married Arlene Ann Boerner in 1953. They lived in Dassel for two and a half years before moving to the Russell family farm, east of Dassel, where they were blessed with six children: Jerome (Jerry), John, Joel, Mary, James (Jim), and Jeffrey (Jeff).

Along with driving school bus, Ralph farmed, worked as a foreman for the Green Giant Canning Company, and as a machinist at Sterner Lighting in Winsted. He was a long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 292.

Ralph took pride in the family farm and celebrated it being recognized as a Century Farm in 2007.

He was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church of Darwin, and the Dassel council of the Knights of Columbus. The Russells were pleased to help to provide the land for the St. John’s Educational Center.

In 2009, Arlene and Ralph left the farm and moved into a townhouse in Dassel.

Ralph’s hobbies included feeding and watching the birds, playing checkers and cards, and playing with their Jack Russell Terrier, Jaxon. He also enjoyed cheering for (and sometimes cursing out) the Vikings, Gophers, and his beloved Twins.

After Arlene passed away in February of 2017, Ralph moved into Brookridge Assisted Living in Cokato, where he lived until failing health necessitated his move to Cokato Manor in late July 2019.

In addition to his wife of 63 years, Arlene, Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Enoch and Hilda; brothers, Gordon, Warren, and Milton; sister Lucille “Sally;” grand-dog, Jaxon; and his very special infant grandson, Jesse.

He is survived by his children, Jerome (Liz) of Duluth, John (Jenny), Joel, all of Cokato, Mary (Kelly) Sinclair of Monticello, James, and Jeffrey, both of Cokato; and grandchildren: Michael Russell of Big Lake, Jonathan (Cheryl) Russell of Marietta, GA, Sarah (Peter) Wlosinski of Duluth, Allan Pedroza and August Nordgren of Sioux City, NE, Jordon Russell of Hutchinson, Andrew Swan, Alex, and Logan Sinclair of Monticello, Brandon (Carman) Russell of Buffalo, Scott Russell of Howard Lake, Daniel Russell of Cokato, Ashley Russell (fiancé, Austin Peterson) of South Haven, Zack (Ines) Russell, Tyler (Angela) Russell, and Tara (Mike) Reponen, all of Hutchinson.

Ralph is further survived by great-grandchildren Elizabeth, Caleb, Emily, Nolan, Brielle, Avery, Raylan, Whitley, Harper, Arianna, Hunter, Jameson, Avelene, Ames, and a future Reponen due mid-November; cousins Lorraine Olson and June Hanson; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

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