Alan 'Shorty' Russell Sr.

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Alan “Shorty” Russell Sr., 75, of rural Prairie du Chien, died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at Prairie Maison Nursing Home. 

Alan was born on Aug. 3, 1946, to Allen and Camilla (Halink) Russell in Prairie du Chien. He started working at the Hazen Cheese Factory when he was in high school for Bob and Pat Hazen. He graduated from Wauzeka High School in 1964, on June 16, 1966, he enlisted in the United States Navy and, later that year, he married the love of his life, Marie C. Gander, on Oct. 17, 1966, in Wauzeka. He was stationed in Davisville, R.I., where their first son was born. Alan served one tour in Vietnam in 1968, and, when he got back, he was reassigned to Camp Forgarty where he was the instructor and supervisor at the Gun Range for another year. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 14, 1969, and moved back home to Wauzeka, to be with his wife and son. In 1972, he bought the farm across the road from his parents in rural Prairie du Chien, where they raised their three children and milked cows. He loved being his own boss and being outside. He spent many days walking the hills, ginseng hunting, taking nature photos (particularly of wild flowers), trapping, fishing, and canoeing (especially with family and friends). He also enjoyed woodworking and spending time at his cabins (that he built) with family and friends. He loved to watch his kids and grandkids play sports and photographing these life events.

Alan is survived by his three children, Todd Russell, Alan Russell Jr., and Angela (Donald) Manning, all of rural Prairie du Chien; seven grandchildren, Treavor Russell (Alex), Vlair (Pat) Erdenberger, Jossie Kozelka, Tatem Baures, and Alex, Kiley, and Chloe Manning; and three great-grandchildren, Kadyn and Benny Erdenberger and Lucinda Russell; four brothers, Monte (Ann) of Billings, Mont., Randy Sr. (Donna) and Carney (Jody) both of Prairie du Chien, and Greg (Tina) of Eastman; seven sisters, Sandra (Al) Krieg and Jetta Mezera (Larry) both of McGregor, Iowa, Lily (Denny) Rider of Mt. Sterling, Vicki Hendricks of Neenah, Janie Russell (Mike) of Soldiers Grove, Kristy Russell and Dee Martin both of Prairie du Chien; one brother-in-law, Bill (Judy) Gander; and seven sisters-in-law, Shirley (Frank) Conley, Ann Beers, Joyce Walker, Helen Blakley, Vicki Hale, Diana Fullmer, and Ramona Steeneck; Marie’s adoptive family, Lola Childs and children; and many nieces and nephews.

Alan was preceded in death by his loving wife of 45 years, Marie C. (Gander) Russell on Aug. 3, 2011; his parents, Allen and Camilla (Halink) Russell; seven brothers-in-law, George Hendricks, Frank Mezera, Dick Gander, Floyd Gander, Clarence Gander, Leon Beers, and Charlie Walker; and Marie’s adoptive father; Ray Childs, and her parents, Noel and Thelma Gander.

A memorial visitation will be held on Monday, March 14, at Century Hall in Wauzeka, from 4 to 8 p.m. A Celebration of Alans’ Life will be held at the family farm later this summer with Military Rites, followed by Inurnment of Alan and Marie. 

Thank you to Prairie Maison and Crossing Rivers Health Hospice for all the great care, especially to Connie, Maria, Fonda, and Loretta and many others for their above-and-beyond care. Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Prairie du Chien is assisting the family with arrangements.

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