Saturday, December 12, 2020

 Russell ‘Rusty’ Elliott

    Fowlerville lost a very longstanding and unique member of the community on December 3, 2020.  Russell (Rusty) Owen Elliott gave into his illnesses and, even though he fought the good fight, he wasn’t able to overcome this last round of challenges. For those of us who knew him well, we have lost a very unique and special father, father-in-law, grandpa, great-grandpa and friend. 

     Rusty was born July 10, 1933 to Harry and Eva Elliott in Fowlerville, Michigan. He was born on the farm, literally, as he was apparently not patient enough to wait for his mom to get to the hospital. Rusty remained in Fowlerville all of his life with his two brothers, Richard (Abe) and Allen, and his sisters, Ardis and Janet. 

     He married Nila Lee Jones in 1954 and together they raised 4 children: Brian (Linda), Jeff (Cathy), Jackie (Fred) and Brad (Laura). He enjoyed his grandchildren: Justin (Dawn), Russell (Hallie), Joshua (CJ), Cody (Nikki), Natasha, Shane, Ashley (Rob) and Kyle. He also took pride in his great-grandchildren: Hunter, Joel, Caleb, Jocelyn, Luke, Caroline and was anticipating the arrival of a new great-granddaughter in April. Although he was not traditional, his unique style touched each and every one of them in a special way.

    Rusty was preceded in death by his father, mother, two brothers and sister Ardis. 

    Along with his family and friends, Rusty enjoyed many other things in life. He spent several years riding and coveting his motorcycles. He made several trips around the U.S. from Pike’s Peak to gold mining in Alaska which he still often spoke about. His plan was to ride his motorcycle when he turned 100 years old and, although he won’t be able to do that in person, we suspect he’ll be riding right next to his brother Abe when the time comes.

     If you know Rusty, you know about his treasured John Deere tractors. He has enjoyed many years of searching, collecting and caretaking of his valued collection. Each year, the Fowlerville 4th of July parade was a highlight for our family as Rusty would sit nearby with pride as family members drove the tractors through the parade.

    And one can't help but think of Rusty when you hear the word “coffee”. Rarely did a day go by where he would miss his 2-3 visits to the various town coffee shops for that “cup of coffee”. You could mark your calendar and clock for the location and time!  Even though it was about the coffee, the company and communication with his friends and community members was the driver and the most important part of his routine. Along with this routine was his love of just taking a slow drive around the countryside. He took the time to always enjoy every bit of it and still knew almost every house, who lived there and when. He always enjoyed the little things in life.

    We have all been touched in some way by having Rusty in our lives and he will be dearly missed. We will not be having a service at this time, but are planning a fitting celebration of life for Rusty that we know he would enjoy and approve of sometime next year when we can all get together. In the meantime, please keep him in your prayers and thoughts and take a moment to have a cup of coffee and take a drive around the countryside in his honor.   

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