Sylvester T. 'Stubby' Russ


IRONWOOD, Mich. — Sylvester T. “Stubby” Russ, 75, of Ironwood, died peacefully Tuesday, April 30, 2013, surrounded by his loving family, at Westgate Nursing, Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Community in Ironwood, following a courageous battle with lung cancer.

He was born Dec. 31, 1937, in Wakefield, son of the late John and Victoria (Dalbec) Russ, and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1956. He then entered the U.S. Army on Aug. 14, 1956, serving overseas in Korea, and was honorably discharged on May 29, 1958. Following his discharge, he was employed at Toledo Scale in Racine, Wis., for several years, then spent 29 years working underground at White Pine Copper Co., retiring due to a disability at age 55 in 1992.

Stubby was a member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, Ironwood American Legion Post 5, Wakefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9084, the United Steelworkers Union, AARP, Norrie Amateur Sports Club and the Aurora Athletic Club. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time with family, especially his grandchildren. He was a jolly fellow who loved to have fun and will be dearly missed.

On July 2, 1988, Stubby married Diane Kalla Piispanen in Ironwood. She survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Thomas (Cheryl) and Tim (Danielle Greil), both of Bessemer; grandchildren, Tony Ossanna (Tiffany Stuhr), Bessemer Township, Carissa Marchello and Travis Russ, both of Bessemer, and Crystal Fahrner and Cory and Christopher Knutson, all of Minot, N.D .; a great-granddaughter, Tia Fahrner, Minot; stepchildren, Lori (Jerry) LaPlant and Greg (Diane) Piispanen, both of Ironwood; stepgrandchildren, Nicole (Josh) Fagan, Clarksville, Tenn., and Kristin Kitto, Tori, Jerry and Taylor LaPlant, and Katie and Andrew Piispanen, all of Ironwood; stepgreat-grandchildren, Trevor and Caleb Fagan, Clarksville; sisters, Fran Benton, Ironwood, and Mary Glentz and Patricia (Don) Singleton, both of Wakefield; brothers-in-law, Bill (Linda) Kalla, Ironwood, Darryl (Lynn) Kalla, Neenah, Wis., and Robert (Judi) Kalla, Rudolph, Wis .; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and host of friends.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Terri Fahrner, on July 7, 2012; three brothers, James in infancy, John D. and Kenneth; and three sisters, Bernice Simchak, Olive Golembeski and Marge Riggs.

Out of respect for Stubby’s wishes, cremation has taken place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, May 8, at 11:30 a.m., preceded by visitation in the St. Joseph Family Room at 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Robb Jurkovich, celebrant.

Full military honors will be accorded by a combined Ironwood American Legion Post 5 and Wakefield VFW Post 9084 Honor Guard, with luncheon to follow in the parish hall.

Rite of Committal and interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, later this spring.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood, where condolences may be given online at


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