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Russell W. Sunde, Sr.October 17, 1941 ~ July 6, 2017 (age 75)
Russell W. Sunde Sr. passed away on Thursday, July 6, 2017, at Columbus Community Hospital.
He was born in Columbus on October 17, 1941, the only child of Walter W. and Lorene M. (Bahr) Sunde. He married Florence A. Golliher in 1959.
Russell graduated from Rio High School and UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He taught Science in Wisconsin Rapids for 12 years before returning to Rio in 1975 to succeed his father as owner operator of Bahr’s Hybrid Seed Corn, Inc. in Doylestown.
Russell was a member of the Living Gospel Church in Rio and was very active in the community as a member of the Rio Fire Department for 35 years, a Village Board president and trustee, a founding member and board member of the Covenant House, a Rio Community Club member and the Masonic Order, belonging to Lodge #52 FAM.
Russell loved deer hunting at “the farm”. He enjoyed taking Caribbean cruises and his travel to all 50 states, particularly his many trips to Texas and Myrtle Beach. He was a dedicated fan and supporter of Rio Viking sports and loved the Packers, Badgers and NASCAR. He was a collector of antiques and enjoyed learning about the many pieces he found.
Survivors include his wife, Florence, children Russell “Rusty” (Lois) Sunde, Rio, Randy (Lisa) Sunde, Oregon, and Susan (Brad) Johnsrud, Fall River; six grandchildren Katie (Christopher) Wood, Jared Sunde, Ashley (Doug) Jung, Adam (Emily Ang) Sunde, Sara (Amber) Romando, and Derek Johnsrud; two great-grandchildren June and Elliott Wood; many in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Harold and Margaret Golliher and a brother-in-law, Gerald Golliher.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday July, 12 at 11 AM at Grasse Funeral Home in Rio. Visitation will be held on Tuesday July 11 from 4 to 7 PM at Grasse Funeral Home and again from 10 AM until the time of service Wednesday. Memorial donations may be made to the Rio Fire Department to support the Fireman’s Park renovation project.
The family wishes to thank the cardiac rehab staff for their long-time care and the nurses and other staff at Columbus Community Hospital for the kindness and caring shown to Russell during his final days.