January 26, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.
Russell was born August 11, 1924 near Mankato, MN to Robert and Alma Peterson. He graduated from Hector High School in 1942. He attended Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in 1952 with a BA. He graduated from Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, IL in 1955 with a Masters of Divinity. On June 19, 1955 he was ordained in St. Paul. During his 50 years as a pastor he served the congregations of East Chain Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, and Chisago Lake Evangelical Lutheran. After his retirement he served as visitation pastor for Chisago Lake and Zion Evangelical congregations. The church was his life.
Russell was involved in many community and church-wide projects. He was on the Minnesota Synod Council, Dean of many Districts, and an active member of Rotary in which he held every office. Russell was the speaker for numerous Memorial Day services. He was very involved in Cursillo (Via de Cristo) where he served as Spiritual Director 19 times and was one of 35 from Minnesota who went out to Salt Lake City to begin the movement out there.
Russell was grateful to have Glad with him in his ministry throughout their 60 years of marriage. At his 50th anniversary of ordination he said "She is a gifted teacher and counselor. I'm thankful for our partnership. Engraved on our wedding rings are the words - Each for the other and both for God. God has been faithful, always giving what is needed for our lives. His promises never expire."
Russell was preceded in death by his parents and sister Lucille Swanson. He is survived by wife Gladys, son Rev. Wayne (Jackie) of Plymouth, daughter Joy (Rod) Sietsema of Lindstrom, four grandchildren - Benjamin and Kaitlyn Peterson, Ana (Mark) Hulzebos, Glade Sietsema, two great-granddaughters - Kaja and Liara, brother Norman (Margie) Peterson of Hector, nieces and nephews
Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday Feb. 3 at Zion Lutheran Church in Chisago City. Funeral service 1 p.m. Saturday at church. Interment Chisago Memorial Park. Memorials suggested to Zion Lutheran Church.
Grandstrand Funeral Home 651-257-4000, www.grand strandfh.com handled arrangements. Memorials preferred.