Russell Eugene Wyatt(1924 - 2017)

Russell Eugene Wyatt, Sr., 93, of Tucson, Arizona, passed away on October 28, 2017. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Janice Wyatt. He is survived by his five children, six grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters-in-laws, Virginia Fassler and Leila Akers, and several nieces and nephews. Russell was born to Verne and Hazel (Buttermore) Wyatt on August 30, 1924 in Auburn, Indiana. He was welcomed by two sisters, Beulah (Billie) and Vera, and a brother, Maurice (Maury). He was baptized at the First Church of God in Auburn. Russell attended his first ten years of schooling in Auburn followed by one year in Fremont, Indiana, and his final year of high school in Goshen, Indiana. He graduated from Goshen High School on May 27, 1943.

On June 7, 1943, Russell was inducted into the U.S. Army at Fort Harrison, Indiana. After basic training, Russell was tested for the ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program) Engineering course and attended Indiana University. When the course was eliminated, Russell was reassigned to the infantry. He served as a guard for German prisoners of war who were held at various locations in the United States. On March 24, 1946, Russell was honorably discharged from Fort Lewis, Washington with a rank of Corporal.

Russell and his brother started a tool and die business, Wyaco Products Company, in 1946 in Mishawaka, Indiana. Russell and Maury worked together for 29 years. They were well-known for their precision work and made prototypes for aircraft, appliances, business machines, and joint replacement prosthetic devices. Some of their products were utilized by the NASA astronauts.

On August 7, 1949, Russell married Janice Marguerite Akers at the Methodist Church in Aurelia, Iowa. Their first home was in South Bend, Indiana for seven years followed by 22 years in Granger, Indiana. They retired in Tucson, Arizona in 1978. The Wyatts have five children – Beverly Lynn (Randy) Wolf, Jill Wyatt (Benjamin) Gonzales, Russell Eugene (Susan) Wyatt, Jr., Kathy Glee (Kelly) Agers, and Ryan Jason Wyatt. They have six grandchildren – Melissa (Tim) Hussey, Adam Hemmer, Natalie (Jordan) Kojouharov, Alex Hemmer, Ben W. Gonzales, and Gabriel A. Gonzales as well as three great-grandchildren – Collin Hemmer and Cole and Eva Kojouharov.

While living in Granger, Russell also served on the school PTA, the Harris Township Improvement Association, and the Lions Club. Russell was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in 1958. He served elder terms at the Granger Presbyterian Church and at Christ Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Upon moving to northwest Tucson, Russell and Janice were members of Tortolita Presbyterian Church followed by Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Russell attended New Life Bible Fellowship from 2012 until his passing.

Russell enjoyed road trip vacations with his family throughout the United States, Western rodeos, hiking in the Tucson mountains, picture puzzles, and Big Band music. He also loved working in the yard and making the most amazing pancakes! He made outings into adventures and ordinary events into lasting memories.

Russell endured Alzheimer's Disease with dignity and grace. Although Alzheimer's would eventually claim his mind and body, his heart and spirit remained strong. He continued to be a wonderful example of love, kindness, gentleness, warmth, and patience to everyone he met.

A Memorial Service will be held at New Life Bible Fellowship, 4900 West Cortaro Farms Road, in Tucson on Friday, December 15, 2017, at 11:00 A.M. An Interment Service will follow at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 East Broadway Blvd. in Tucson at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, December 15, 2017. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the , Desert Southwest Chapter, 1159 North Craycroft Road, Tucson, Arizona 85712.

Published in Tucson Local Media on Dec. 6, 2017