Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Russell Saari

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Russell Saari, 81, a lifelong resident of Ironwood Township, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, with his family by his side.

Russell was born on May 18, 1940, to Arvo and Marian (Kooping) Saari. He attended Roosevelt School and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1958. After graduation, Russell enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1958-1960. He received several marksmanship awards.

Following an honorable discharge from the Army, Russell worked at International Harvester in Chicago for a short time before returning to Ironwood Township.

On March 23, 1968, Russell was united in marriage to Carol Mattson-Silvestri. They purchased a farm in North Ironwood where they farmed cattle for 45 years.

While he was farming, Russell was employed by the American Breeders Service where he was known as the "County Bull" of the Gogebic and Iron Range. He was the livestock clerk at the Gogebic County Fair for more than 50 years. He was also employed by the U.S. Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for 20 years.

Russell was extremely proud of his Agricultural and Finnish Heritage. He was a member of Little Finland and several other community and agricultural organizations. He instilled a very strong work ethic to all his children and grandchildren.

Russell was a member of the National Farmers Organization, Midland Cooperative Board of Directors and the Gogebic County 4-H as a dedicated member and leader. He served on the St. John's Lutheran Church Council and Gogebic County Soil Conservation Board.

In his spare time when Russell wasn't involved in farming activities, he enjoyed fishing, bowling, writing, spending time with his children and grandchildren and watching and listening to the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions games.

Russell was preceded in death by his parents; several aunts, uncles and cousins; and many close friends.

Russell is survived by his wife, Carol; children, Gina (Jim) Sejbl, Tim (Linda) Silvestri, Robin Saari, Aaron (Stacy) Saari and Karina Saari; eight grandchildren, Jimmy, Jennifer, Timothy, Joshua, Sarah, Melissa, Lindsay and Eli; two great-grandchildren, Gabriella and Katherine; a brother, Marvin (Gayle) Saari; a sister, Marlene (Bob) Saari-Mieloszyk; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private service will be held for immediate family at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ironwood Township.

Interment will take place at Sunset Acres Cemetery, Ironwood Township, where full military honors will be accorded by the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard.

A luncheon will be held Monday, Aug. 16, at Little Finland at 12:30 p.m. for his family and friends.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with their arrangements.

Russell always used to say, "Whatever will be, will be." We know for sure he will be dearly missed.

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