O. Russell Freshour(1929 - 2019)

O. Russell Freshour
November 23, 1929 - May 9, 2019
Orgille Russell Freshour Sr., 89, passed away peacefully in the loving arms of his family, on May 9, 2019 at Memorial Hospital in Modesto, California. Russ was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary, in May 2011, after 61 years of marriage. Russ and Mary were blessed with five children, whom they raised in Fremont, Pleasanton and Hacienda Heights, California. The family relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1968, where they spent twenty years. In the summer of 1988, Russ and Mary transferred back to Modesto, California, and have remained there since. Russ was born on November 23, 1929, to the late Anna Russell and the late Hobert Freshour, and raised on a farm in Jerome, Idaho. He left the family farm at the age of 15 in search of a better life, and enlisted in the United States Navy the day after his 18th birthday. Russ served as a Gunner's Mate on the USS Bausell, a Gearing-class destroyer, during the Korean War; and the USS Whiteside, an Andromeda-class attack cargo ship. After serving 10 years in the Navy, Russ joined Fuller Transmission out of Oakland, California as a mechanic in November, 1957. Over the course of the next twenty years, he would earn multiple promotions, eventually serving as Manager for the Southwest Division of Eaton Corporation, out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the mid-1980's, Russ joined Fabco Automotive, of Oakland, California, as Vice President of Sales, where he ultimately retired in 1995. During his career, Russ built hundreds of professional relationships with colleagues who would inevitably call him "friend". He never met a stranger and he found a way to connect with everyone. During his retirement, Russ joined the Modesto Harley Owner Group. He made several HOG runs with the group to Pismo Beach, Daytona Beach, and Sturgis, South Dakota, among other locations. In their 70's, Russ and Mary loaded up their 95th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Electra Glide and rode all the way to Nova Scotia, down the East Coast, across the Southern United States, and back to California: a whopping 10,000 miles! In his spare time, Russ could be found around town on his yellow 1954 Harley-Davidson Panhead. He loved the outdoors and spent most of his time working in his yard or in search of antiques and collectibles. Russ' health began declining in 2016, and his daughter, Judy, had the privilege of becoming his caretaker. In December 2017, he was welcomed as the first resident of the El Rio Memory Care Center in Modesto, California, where he absolutely flourished. He developed many new friendships with the residents and staff, and ever-the-salesman, managed to convince numerous prospective residents to join him at El Rio. Words will never be adequate enough to describe the void he has left in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. Russ was preceded in death by his wife, Marion Katherine Freshour; son, Russell, Jr; brother, David; sister, Glenna; and childhood friend, George Silver. Russ is survived by his son, Gregory John Freshour; daughters, Katherine Ann Sanford, Judy Lyn Rogers, and Sandra Joy Gough (Eddie Pack); grandchildren, Crystal Cernanec (Paul), Brandon Sanford (Kerri), Dustin Sanford (Kyla), Ashton Freshour, Travis Freshour (Lauren Collins), Annmarie Freshour, and Andrew Freshour; great-grandsons, Braydon Sanford and Brady Freshour and triplet great-granddaughters Makenna, Olivia, and Lauren Cernanec; and sister, Reba. Russ will be interred with his wife at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, California, on July 19, 2019 at 10:30 AM. A "last ride" Harley Run in Russ' honor is being planned for the morning of his burial, as we escort his remains from his home to his final resting place aboard his yellow '54 Panhead. Family and friends are invited to gather at 7:30 AM in the Sears parking lot at the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto. We will share donuts and coffee, and depart for the cemetery at 8:30 AM. Please contact 209-324-9531 for additional details.

Published in the Modesto Bee on May 19, 2019