Russell Grant Welch
May 18, 1955 - December 12, 2021
Russell Grant Welch was born on May 18, 1955, in Robbinsdale, MN, to Russell N. Welch and Margarette (Marge) Runyon Welch. To welcome Russ home was his older brother, Charles (Chuck). Later his family was joined by Scott, Leroy and finally the baby and only sister, Allene.
His entire childhood was spent in the Minneapolis area. At an early age, Russ showed an interest in mechanics, often working on his vehicles and those of his friends. His mom said he was always “tinkering” with something. After graduating from a trade school high school program in 1972, he went to work in the field he enjoyed. In 1973, Russ joined the US Navy, serving as a boiler mechanic, electrician and engineer. During this time, he was deployed to the Vietnam Conflict. On July 4, 1976, Russ’s ship crossed the equator, giving him the distinction of being a Golden Shellback, a title very few Navy members enjoy. Upon completion of 4 years of service, Russ returned to the Minneapolis area and once again began working in the maintenance field, a field he would work in until his passing. His friends often joked he would die with a wrench in his hand, and he did. Over the years, Russ worked for Con Agra, at one point as the plant manager, the job that brought him to Hamburg. He drove a truck for a few years after deciding to leave management, then he returned to maintenance. He worked at Bartlett Grain in Hamburg as a maintenance mechanic, then moved to Diversified Foods in Nebraska City, doing the same. His last career change came when he took a position at Manildra in Hamburg, as you guessed it, a maintenance mechanic. After his health began to decline, and he wasn’t able to work maintenance as easily, he drove a truck for Manildra and continued to offer his experience in the maintenance department.
Russ’s greatest accomplishment (his words) in life were his children, both biological and bonus, Tiffany, Russell W., Aaron, Samantha, Emily and Katelynn. Just 2 days before his passing, he told his wife (me) how proud he was of the kids, all 6 of them. These children gave him his 2nd greatest joy – the grandchildren….sooo many grandchildren! One thing Russ was especially proud of was that 4 of his 6 children served in the military (a Marine and 3 in the Army), and another married an Army veteran. And our granddaughter, Ravyn, will leave for Army basic training on May 31st. According to his children and grandchildren, Russ was the greatest man to ever live, and I agree.
In the little time Russ took off work, he enjoyed working on projects around the house, fishing and watching the Minnesota Vikings play. He especially enjoyed seeing them beat his wife’s team, the Steelers, just a few days before his passing. Spending time with his grandchildren meant the world to Russ and his grandchildren worshiped him greatly. Russ also had a special place in his heart for the many daycare children his wife watched over the years. In the evening, Russ enjoyed the “table meetings” at the home of his dear friend, Bob Cooper. Dean and Loretta Robinson and Jason and Kisha Hyde rounded out the “table crew”, but often other friends trickled in to visit, swap fishing stories, and just shoot the breeze while having a few beers. Everyone was welcome and this group became family to Russ. Sadly, Bob and Dean have both joined Russ at the picnic table (probably by a good fishing hole) in the sky. Bob passed on March 1st and Dean on February 9th. Three best friends together forever.
Those left to honor Russ’s memory are his wife of 19 years, Shelly Welch, Hamburg, IA, and their combined children: Tiffany Peacock (Rick Hanson), Elk River, MN and her son, Deven. Russell Welch (Katie) Bellevue, NE, and their sons Jude and Grey. Aaron Lahmon (Bianca Propp), Sidney, IA and their combined children, Tessa, Isaac, Hailey, Aiyana, Ethan, Kyler and Avalee. Samantha Welch (Michael Wells), Percival, IA, and their sons Ashton Russell (named for his grandfather) and Laeton, and baby girl, Revely. Emily Phillips (Bill Salmons), Blanchard, IA, and their children Lilly, Ravyn, Trinity, Kadyn, Nate and Archer, as well as their granddaughter, Bella, and our “baby” Katelynn Welch (Tyler Derrick), North Branch, MN. Russ is survived by his siblings, Chuck Welch (Mary), Daytona, FL, Scott Welch (Kerrie), Casa Grande, AZ, Leroy Welch, Brook Park, MN, and Allene Hasse (Dale), Brooklyn Park, MN, as well as his brothers in law, Clint Robinson, Council Bluffs, IA, Mike Lahmon, Lincoln, NE, Chris Lahmon (Nikki), Lincoln, NE, Josh Lahmon (Carly), Eagle, NE Tanner Lahmon, Lincoln, NE, and Austin Lahmon (Bri), Lincoln, NE, his step father, Tom Block of Sisseton, SD, former wife, Nancy Welch, Coon Rapids, MN, and his parents in law Ron and Deb Robinson, Hamburg, IA and Stan Lahmon, Fairfield, CA. Russ had entirely too many friends to even begin to list them all.
Preceding Russ in death were his father Russell N. Welch, Minneapolis, MN, his mother Marge Block, Sisseton, SD, and step mother Audrey Welch, as well as his lifelong friends, “guys from the old neighborhood”, Elwood Blesi and Danny Dick, both of Minnesota.
Russ will be laid to rest at Mount Olive Cemetery southeast of Hamburg, IA at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Military honors will be presented by the Hamburg American Legion. Those wishing to make donations in Russ’s honor are asked to direct them to Wounded Warrior Project or the Hamburg Rescue Squad, choices Russ made before his passing.