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Russell Dean DeVries

1963 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Russell Dean DeVries Obituary
Russell Dean DeVries

New Braunfels, TX - In the early morning hours of May 6, 2019, Russell Dean DeVries, age 56, passed away in his sleep at his New Braunfels, TX, home. A gentle soul, he lived and loved large.

Born on January 4, 1963, Rusty grew up on Clear Creek, the fifth of Ernie and Royleine DeVries's six children. At the age of four, he started his farming career driving hay truck to help his dad feed cows. This connection to the land and all animals remained deep in Rusty's soul his entire life. Rusty's education at Roberts Schools found him acting in drama productions, playing the trumpet, reluctantly running cross country, and living to play basketball. After graduation, RD's athleticism took him to the California motocross circuit. In December 1981 while home for the holidays, Rusty encountered a life-changing event when he was struck by a drunk driver while changing the T-top of his Corvette standing along I-90. Thrown 95 feet in the barrow pit, he spent weeks in a coma and endured many surgeries, but battled back to again race bikes and play city league basketball. Later he became a farmer/rancher in SD and MT and a custom harvester throughout TX, OK, KS, NB, and SD; he formed CR Auto in Laurel, a used car partnership, with his brother Chuck, and served his local community as member of the Carbon County Historical Society and Museum Board, the Carbon County Planning Board, and the Roberts Community Foundation Board. From 2002-2013, he also served as an elected member of Carbon Conservation District, including his final term as chairman. Rusty recently was honored to become a 3rd Degree Master Mason with Carbon Lodge #65 in Joliet, MT.

On January 28, 1989, Rusty's thirty-year relationship with Jennifer Collins began. By June 30, 2000, the couple decided they knew each other well enough to make the arrangement legal and got married. While not blessed with biological children of their own, their lives were changed when they became guardians and parents to two nieces, Brooke Roseland and Brianna Lemire. Rusty and Jen's lives were further blessed when nephew Charles Harm DeVries whom they consider to be their son, and his wife Dani Roller, became parents to Austin Charles and Keegan Russell. Now vacations, summer weekends, so many conversations and much laughter centered around the two red-headed "grandsons" antics.

Rusty inherited his family's passion for playing cards, pinochle, and gambling. Although color blind, he loved all things yellow. His daily media rituals centered around Fox News and Talk Radio. He and his wife were passionate about creating and consuming food, traveling as a couple and a family with their girls, as well as adventuring with friends and extended family. RD enjoyed golfing anywhere and anytime. In 2014 the family moved to Texas where RD enjoyed golfing in warmer weather and became a volunteer for the PGA's Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. RD and Jen thrived on hosting guests at their New Braunfels home, quickly developed deep friendships at the local dog park, and looked forward to Wednesday date nights.

Rusty is survived by his wife Jennifer Collins, Brooke Roseland, Brianna Lemire, and the Harm DeVries family; his older siblings and their spouses, Barbara and Archie Caraveau, Donna and Don Adams, and Jim and Debbie DeVries; 20 nieces and nephews, 39 great- nieces and nephews, 7 great-great nieces and nephews, his Uncle David and Aunt Kathy DeVries, and Aunt Mary Alice DeVries; many wonderful first- and second-cousins; his in-laws, Ken and Jeannette Collins; sister-in-law Katherine Collins, brother and sister-in-law K. David & Trish Collins; and his step-in-laws, Dorothy Wagnild, Tammy and Jeff Hill, and Mike Johnson and Tanya Dvarishkis.

Preceding him in death were his mother Royleine Maher DeVries, father Ernest G. DeVries, oldest brother Ernest Charles "Chuck" DeVries, beloved Uncle Art DeVries, little sister Vicki Jo DeVries; all his Anderson, Dempster, Maher, Harmala, and Beckham aunts and uncles; cousins Joe Dempster, Ron DeVries, and Mark Harmala; brothers-in-law Ron Chouinard and Rick Finkbeiner; and mother-in-law Kay Lund Collins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Carbon County Historical Society and Museum, Roberts United Methodist Church, Special Olympics of MT, or Puppy Playland of New Braunfels. For these organizations' mailing addresses, please consult

Services will be at the Roberts United Methodist Church, on Tuesday, May 28, at 2 P.M., followed by Masonic rites at the Roberts Cemetery and refreshments in the church fellowship hall.

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Published in Great Falls Tribune on May 24, 2019
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