He was my dad's twin brother,and was 75 years old.My father is the last member of his family left of 3 brothers and a sister.
My uncle was a teacher after he served in the Navy for 4 years, my dad did 21 years in the navy. My uncle did over 30 years as a teacher or superintendant here in Oregon in many small communities.
I felt like I had an extra dad, easy going , a great mentor, and well known across the state. Many times, past students would say hi to my dad thinking he was Russ,my uncle. Even more funny was people thinking my uncle was my dad and thank him for the time the ambulance service helped them. My dad is still a paramedic ,but retired 2 years ago.
He surveyed for a while. Mostly in the LaGrande area where he and dad was born ......and near where they hunted, me too eventually.That work opened a lot of roads for logging, many which remain as gravel access roads.
He knew the outdoors like no one I've seen.If I can claim to shoot as well as they can , its because he and dad taught me. I'll never be as savvy as he was when it came to finding deer or elk, he just knew.Many times he could tell me where to be and when , and flush out elk or deer. He could've shot them too, but let them come to me or dad often enough.
I live in Portland,my dad lives near Pendleton and uncle lived near La Grande, across the state. My dad and uncle are so identical it was often hard to tell them apart. One funny thing that happened , happened here in Portland. I was in a local Portland gun store, and I found a left handed holster for a certain pistol and couldn't believe my luck. I looked up and I saw my dad walk in. I was dumbfounded. All I managed to say was "Dad??" ...... it was my uncle. In front of 3 other people I knew and some I didnt ,he goes "No, do I look like your dad?" with a grin, I go "oh hi uncle Russ",but the damage was done...Oh the place broke out laughing. I didn't bother to tell him the aspect of "not your daddy" line of humor, he was way too respectable for me to behave like that around hehe.
I'll miss you Uncle Russ.