Russ Barker
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BARKER, RUSS; born July 14, 1961; died February 7, 2012. Russ was the consummate entrepreneur, co-founder of MetroSweep and successful business owner for over 21 years. Russ lived life to the fullest; his energy could power a room. From the moment he was born until the final breath of his life he was absorbing experiences. If lives are measured by the number of people whose hearts we touch, then Russ has lived well beyond his 50 years. His final moments were spent enjoying the powdery snow of the UP on his snowmobile riding trails with his friends. Those that were not on the trails with him that day are joined today in sorrow, joy and laughter. Russ is survived by his beloved son, Ryan, who proudly serves our country in the US Air Force. Russ welcomed daughter-in-law, Tiffany last May and was thrilled that Ryan found his soul mate for his life's journey as Russ had found his soul mate with fiancé, Lisa Schiff. Lisa's children, Adam and Taryn together with Ryan and Tiffany formed a tight circle around his heart. Their loss is immeasurable. Also survived by his brother, Michael and his children, Shannon of Auburn Hills and Cory in Colorado; along with his sister and long time business partner, Kelly, who shared so many of his life fulfilling experiences. His voice and warm smile is ever present. Preceding him in death was father, Leonard (Russ) in 1989; mother, Mary in 1996; and grandmother, Iva Barker-Pearce. He also leaves many, many friends who will miss Russ tremendously and his loving personality. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. Saturday, February 11, 2012 at St. Perpetua Catholic Church, 134 Airport Road, Waterford. Memorial Services will commence at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to a cause close to your heart. Arrangements by Donelson, Johns and Evans Funeral Home, Waterford.

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Published in The Oakland Press from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2012.
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Memories & Condolences
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32 entries
February 8, 2013
You and your family have our deepest sympathy. May the God of all comfort comfort you and your family.
July 19, 2012
Russ was the man who gave everyone a chance without judging them. He was a man who would give the shirt off his back. He would stop to help a homeless person or someone with a flat tire while working. He will be missed in this lifetime and for everyone who never gets a chance to meet him in the future. He would be missed by all the people who never really knew him but had the opportunity to experience his great acts of kindness. Kelly, Ryan and family I'm sorry for your loss. He made this world a better place. May you have comfort and feel the pride as we look up to him.
Penelope Salliotte
March 22, 2012
I grew up next door to Rusty as I knew him from our childhood. He did so much good for everyone i am very thankful for his friendship in my life, Russ was like a brother to me, and will always be in our hearts! Denielle Armstrong & The Armstrong Family .
Denielle Armstrong
February 17, 2012
I spent several summers at Glen Lake with Russ and his mother and although through the years we lost contact, I would like to express my sympathy to Kelly and your family. I see Russ was loved and thought so highly of by so many people. God Bless!
Rocky Esler
February 15, 2012
We would see Russ at the beach frequently during the summer months. Russ was always quick to say hello and make conversation. He was one of those residents that make our neighborhood such a nice place to live. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with all of his family.
Sharon and Ed Bonser
February 13, 2012
I had just spoke with Russ on 02/03/12 as I was leaving for vacation to Florida.He asked me to give him a call when I got back and we would do lunch.My heart is very heavy as I found out about this terrible loss that we all must feel. This is a man that will always be remembered and missed.My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa for I know that he loved you dearly.I know he will always be there with you.If there is anything that I can do please let me know.Your friend Dave.
Dave Gordon
February 12, 2012
I worked for Russ for a few years after I graduated high school. I am sending strength and hope for the Barker and Schiff family.
February 12, 2012
I couldn't believe it, an unexpected trip to Houghton Lake and I get to see you, a huge and kiss and wish you well on your trip. The next night I couldn't believe you where gone. But you went out doing it "Your Way". You will be missed and forever loved. I'm blessed in knowing you my friend forever, Jennifer
Jennifer Abrams
February 12, 2012
I enjoyed working for Russ for 4 yrs at
Metro Sweep. I appreciated his confidence in me to operate all of the
big sweepers. I remember when working with Russ and Lisa to keep our customer happy, Russ had a famous line,
"that's not a problem". He will be missed. Deepest Sympathy.
Mike Musson
February 11, 2012
We spoke on the phone several times, but alas we never met and I am truly sorry for that.
My deepest condolences to Kelly, Michael and Ryan.
Catherine Weinstock
February 11, 2012
I didn't know Russ but as a member of NAPSA and the power sweeping industry i wanted to express my condolences for your loss.
Algonquin Sweeping LLC
Ron Lichtenstein
February 11, 2012
Russ Barker was a childhood friend of our
son Brian.We were neighbors for many years.My wife remembers Rusty(Russ) coming to her mom's house for a swim and
jumped into the pool keeping a secret
that he couldn't swim.My wife Maureen
fished him out. He was ok and everyone
had a good time.He did learn how to swim
after that!Thru the years our son Brian became a Police Officer and Russ went on
to career in business.Russ would come by
and visit me at my auto dealership from
time to time to catch up.
Sorry our family was unable to attend the
church service.
Our thoughts and prayers to all of the
family.
Tom,Maureen and Brian Thomas
Bloomfield Hills MI
February 11, 2012
You've been a wonderful friend, close to 20 years now...we had our shares of laughs and giggles as I watced your son grow to the man he is today...still in shock over the news...RIP old friend....jeanne ratchford
jean ratchford
February 11, 2012
Russ Im very lucky to have known you and call you my friend my hearts heavy I enjoyed the talks we had and enjoyed the snowmobile times. GOD SPEED MY FRIEND.

Randy & Shelly Miller Roscommon MI.
February 11, 2012
You have been a wonderful friend and you will be forever missed!
Kelli Rottenberk
February 10, 2012
My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
February 10, 2012
Russ thanks so much for the many years. I know you are now with God telling him how to run it..lol. you will always be in our hearts. We love you and Thank you R.I.P bud. Daniel,Holly,Ryan Fremling
February 10, 2012
My husband Larry Coker has been Russ's business partner and more importantly friend for 13 years. Our family adored his presence in our life and my children always loved when he and Lisa would come to the important events in their lives. We will miss him very much.
Jennifer and Larry Coker
February 10, 2012
Russ, my heart is so heavy and it's so hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful man. Lisa could not have chosen a finer man to make her complete. I promise that I will help her through these rough times ahead, and she will cherish every second of the memories of the decade you spent with her. You are loved.
Diane Norton
February 10, 2012
You will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out the the family.
Michael Stroud
February 10, 2012
I was a Sub-contractor power-washing for Russ at R.I.S. beginning in 1991 and proudly watch Russ grow his business with Kelly throughout the years. My now grown daughters still remember having a wonderful time at the annual Christmas parties. Jamee still uses her "Kit n Kaboodle" she received as gift one year. I am sorry to the family for your loss as well as a loss to our community he proudly kept clean..
Jim Taylor
February 10, 2012
Russ was a long time customer and friend at J.C. Carpet. He will be missed. Kelly and family we are sorry for your loss.JC
John Czerwinski
February 10, 2012
I thought of him and loved him like a member of my family. I will miss his friendship, warm smlle and loving heart.
Lisa' Mom and Taryn and Adams Grandmother
Natalile Schiff
February 10, 2012
so sorry for your loss !
My love to the family
Stay strong in the face of death and believe he is in a better place
aaron roll
February 10, 2012
God puts people in our lives for a reason and I am very grateful he put you in mine. Thank you for helping me through a tough time in my life and giving me the opportunity's you did at MetroSweep. I will miss you.
Lisa Kaminsky
February 10, 2012
Us here at the Road Commission will miss you and your humor.
February 10, 2012
I new Russ for many years. So sorry for your loss. He will be missed.
Lois Graunstadt
February 10, 2012
May the God who supplies endurance and comfort sustain you at this time of need Rom 15:5. Sorry for your loss
Nedra M
February 10, 2012
A funny and engaging guy, I remember him fondly after all these years.
Stephanie DeGroote
February 9, 2012
The SIX-S/ Sakalian family new Russ for over 25 years, Russ was great Guy, with a huge HEART we will miss him.
Leo sakalian
February 9, 2012
You will be thought of daily and also missed dearly!
Amie Querro
February 9, 2012
I worked for Russ back in 1994 when he had R.I.S Contracting. He was full of laughs he will diffidently be missed
Dan Baker
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