June 7, 1926 – October 16, 2015

He is survived by his wife Joan Barber, his son-in-law and family John Vanderkooy of Barrie Ont., and his two sisters Lois Friesen of Victoria and Arvelle Slawson of Brandon. He is predeceased by his first wife Shirley, daughter Kathy, brothers Graeme and Murray.

Russ was born in Brandon, MB, and grew up in Maryfield. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1943 and proceeded overseas as an Air Gunner; he returned from England in the summer of 1945, was demobilized in September 1945 and attended University in Saskatoon. In May 1946 he returned to the RCAF as a Leading Aircraftsman and trained as a Radar Technician. In 1947 he re-mustered to Aircrew serving as a Radio Navigator for the duration of his military service. He retired in Duncan in 1979 after 36 years and then served in the Active Component of the Airforce Reserves for an additional 12 years.

His first flying assignment after the war was with 414 Photo Squadron assigned to photographing the Arctic for the creation of the first detailed maps of northern Canada. He served in Training Command, Transport Command and Air Defense Command. He was promoted to Chief of Staff of Airforce Operations upon the reformation of Airforce Command and his final assignment was in Colorado Springs as Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs, North American Aerospace Defense Command.

In retirement he was involved with the Canadian Can- cer Society at all levels; Unit, District, Provincial and National. As an adherent of the local Presbyterian Church he became Director of the Agapeland Christian Nursery School. He was President of the Sponsoring Committee of 744 Air Cadet Squadron and he was a Charter Member of the Cowichan Valley Probus Club. He was an active participant in Provincial and Federal conservative affairs.

A heartfelt thanks to the Staff at Cairnsmore. A Memorial service will be held at First Memorial, 375 Brae Road, Duncan on Saturday November 21st at 2:00 pm

with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, if wishing donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

FIRST MEMORIAL FUNERAL SERVICES (250) 748-2134, Duncan, B.C. Condolences may be shared online at

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