Melvyn "Russell" MacDonald
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the tragic passing of Melvyn “Russell” MacDonald on February 16, 2019 in Minnesota during one of his favorite hobbies, snowmobiling with his friends.
Russ was born on August 11, 1983 to Melvin and Lucille (Allan) MacDonald in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Russ shared his birthday with his Grandfather Russell Allan for whom he was named. August 11th was a popular birthday as he also shared it with his Auntie Brenda. He was the oldest of three and role model to little brothers Brodie and Neil.
Russ spent the first six years of his childhood in Saskatchewan before moving to the Rainy River District in Ontario where he graduated from fort Frances High School in 2001 and continued to reside until his death. The lakes, forests and countryside of the area called to his adventurous spirit and he spent much of his time fishing, hunting, boating and snowmobiling here. Later he would share his love of the outdoors with his sons Nolan, Bryce and Levi. He loved taking them hunting, fishing and camping and often shared outdoor adventures with cousin Jake Boettcher and his children, Ben, Julia and Ana. He also introduced the boys to stock car racing and they traveled to find more adventures.
When he wasn’t playing hard Russ was working hard. His strong work ethic was part of the character from a young age. Whether he was helping Mom mop the floor or building a tree house with dad. And by the age of 13 he was spending the summer working on his Aunt and Uncles farm.
During high school he participated in a co=op program with K & M Trucking and would continue working there part time. He has great appreciation for all he learned especially from men like Mario Venerus. Russ obtained his AZ license on his 18th birthday. He graduated on the Dean’s List from the Northern College Millwright Program in Timmins.
Russ joined the Ironworkers in 2008 and became a journeyman Ironworker in 2010 and was proud to follow in his Dad’s footsteps joining Thunder Bay Ironworkers Local 759.
Russ wrote, “I’m a proud second generation Union Ironworker. I don’t really ever say that either cause I hated being called Mel’s kid when I first started. LOL, name is Russ. The old man taught me to pick my own path and I kinda marched to the beat of my own drum ever since. And probably not gonna change. LOL”.
Russ carved out his own path and was recognized for his talent and hard work ethic. He was working as a Superintendent at the age of 30.
More important to Russ than all his accomplishments was his family. Married to Ashley (Mutz) he has three boys, Nolan 13, Bryce 11, and Levi 8. It was very important to him to raise well mannered, hardworking, and thoughtful children. His success is obvious to everyone who knows them.
He enjoyed playing host to his friends and family at Windy Point and the camp at Lake Despair. Along with plenty of food and drink visitors would be entertained by Russ’s outgoing, natural story telling.
Russ was predeceased by his grandparents, Russell and Colleen Allan, and Maurice and Edith MacDonald. Also cousins Master Corporal Allan Stewart, Jade MacDonald and Tristan Webb.
He will be forever missed by sons Nolan, Bryce and Levi, wife Ashley, parents Mel and Lucille, brothers Brodie and Neil (Julie), nieces and nephews William, Jill, Owen, Stella, (Grace and Chase), in-laws Gerri, Alyssa, Allan and Dennis Mutz.
His loss will also be felt by his large extended family, many groups of friends and union brothers. His beloved dog, Buster, will also miss their work days together and adventures to the west coast.
Pallbearers are life-long friends who are like brothers. Nathan Shute from Campbell River, B.C., Kyle Darrah from Cranbrooke, B.C., Adam McCormick from Ear Falls, ON., Tyler Christiansen and Jason Caul from Devlin, ON., and Brock Benjamin of Whatten Twp, friend, co-worker and cousin.
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