Hawthorne Funeral Home and Memorial Park
1825 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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1913 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Russell Bernard Juckett Sr. ("Russ"), age 97, a lifelong resident of Skagit County, died on March 31, 2011 after living a long and fulfilled life.

He was born November 29, 1913 in Winters, California to Harrison Haight and Ada (Sonnichsen) Haight.

His dad was a horse wrangler in northern California. This probably accounts for his love of John Wayne movies which he had a collection of over 150. His father and mother divorced and his mother remarried Roy Juckett and the family moved to Hot Springs, South Dakota (Black Hills) where he ran an automobile agency. The family which now included William (brother) and Elyse (sister) moved to Kelso, Washington in 1924.

Russ graduated from Burlington High School in 1932 after he moved into his maternal grandmother Wamsley's home in Burlington, Washington.

Russ joined the National Guard in 1931 and entered the US Army stationed at Fort Warden in 1940.

He married Alice Muriel Barbo on July 6, 1940 after courting her in the Strawberry Fields of Skagit Valley. They married soon after she graduated from Mount Vernon High School. They had two sons, Ronald Juckett who died several months after birth and Russ Juckett Jr. who lives in Everett, Washington with his wife, Jennifer.

Russ attended Dry Cleaning school in the mid 1930's working in Mount Vernon, Washington before completing his officer training school at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was assigned in the Spring of 1943 to the 702 Tank Battalion and he left for Europe. His unit arrived at the Normandy Beach after the first invasion occurring the prior month. He was a part of General Patton's "Red Devils" and earned a Bronze Star medal for his contribution at the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home a Captain relieved from active duty due to a physical disability. He recuperated for a year in Denver at Fitz Simmons Hospital.

Once home from the war, Russ bought and sold military hardware and rolling stock in Mount Vernon as well as using his army "duck" to rescue farm animals in the Skagit flats when the valley flooded along the Nookachamps during the early 50's.

Over his career, Russ worked in the Valley for Nate Johnson Desoto, Les Peck, Dependable Motors, Van Dynes, Riverside Dodge, Jack Gubrud Chrysler, Bill McDowell Chrysler and retired at Hinton Oldsmobile in 1980. Also, he had his own business, Engine Specialties. His love for the automobile was captured in his restored 1937 V-12 Cadillac Town car. There was the 1906 Franklin Model G 4 cylinder he found in a La Conner barn which he traded for a 1929 Franklin with rumble seat and ooga horn. He restored a 1968 Karmin Ghia in which he substituted a Porsche engine to add some "getty up".

Russ' love of mechanics could only be compared to his love of the 2nd Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms. He was an outstanding rifleman who earned numerous awards not only for his restored automobiles but for his marksmanship. He shot competitively big and small bore rifles. He was a pistol shooter and felt with less than perfect vision he would try his hand at competitive shotgun matches. 100 is a perfect score which he did periodically. However, it was quite unusual and impressive when at the age of 90 he shot 90 clay birds matching his age!

Russ and his wife Alice loved to go on trips visiting wonders of the world such as the Great Wall of China. They stayed closer to home as they shared 70 years together. Hawaii was always a favorite destination and retreat for them both.
Russ is remembered for a great sense of humor, listening to classical musical (he played the piano) while reading about the civil war in his music room.

He was a lifetime member of the NRA, Moose, Elks American Legion, VFW and Mount Vernon Men's Garden Club.

Additionally, he will be remembered at Skagit Valley College where he monitored several history classes when he was in his 90's. A favorite professor once wrote to Russ that he was a model to them all with his continued curiosity.

Russ leaves behind his wife, Alice of Mount Vernon; his half sister, Elyse Mogden Meyer of Port Angeles, Washington, their families and his predeceased half sisters, Dorothy Pakledinaz and June Wightman and their families.

He is survived by 4 grandchildren, Lyle Bo Juckett, Mount Vernon, Washington, Stacy Juckett Chesnutt, Nova Scotia, Canada, Lorie Juckett, Santa Monica, California and Paige Schmelzer, Camano Island, Washington.

The family wishes to express love and gratitude for all of Russ' friends who remember and have fond memories of his life. A special thanks to Isabel Hernandez and her caregivers at My Joyas who gave him extraordinary loving care and also Amy, Laurie, Kenda, Anneliese, Sue and Linda of Visiting Angels and to Hospice of the Northwest.

In lieu of flowers any memorials may be made in Russell Bernard Juckett Sr.'s name to the charity of your choice.

A celebration of life and memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on 04/11/11 at Hawthorne Funeral Home. Military honors will be provided at that time with a reception following. There will be a private interment.

Please share your thoughts of Russ and sign the online guest register at www.hawthornefh.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, Washington 98273.
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