Russell Kominitsky
1934 - 2021

January 20, 1934 - May 25, 2021

Russell Kominitsky, age 87, of Bakersfield, CA passed away peacefully on May 25, 2021 in Bakersfield where he resided for 59 years. Russell was born in Coaldale, Pennsylvania near his hometown of Nesquehoning, PA, the son of Nicholas Kominitsky and Julia (Fetsurka) Kominitsky.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Elsa Jean (Wildermuth) Kominitsky, as well as his sister, Vera (Kominitsky) Irish (Bill), and his brother, John Kominitsky. He leaves behind his nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews, all of whom he was very proud. He was especially proud when one of his great nieces was born on his birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Julia Kominitsky and his brother, Theodore Kominitsky.

Russell was raised in the coal mining town of Nesquehoning, PA., where his father, Nicholas Kominitsky was a motorman in the coal mines, and his maternal grandfather, Onifer Fetsurka was a locomotive engineer there as well. Russell graduated from Mauch Chunk Township High School in 1951, after which he joined the US Air Force and began his active duty at Edwards Air Force Base on June 25, 1951 as an Airman First Class until June 24, 1955. He then joined the Air Force Reserve on June 25, 1955 and served until June 24, 1959 when he received his Honorable Discharge. A year prior to his Honorable Discharge, he married the love of his life, Elsa Jean Wildermuth on June 29, 1958 in Jackson County, Missouri.

Russell attended and graduated from then Fresno State College in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Arts as well as a Special Secondary Credential in Industrial Arts Education. During that same year, Russell was hired as an Industrial Arts/Arts & Crafts teacher at South High School in Bakersfield where he began his teaching career and remained teaching until his retirement in 1989. In 1962, his wife, Elsa was also hired as a Physical Education teacher at East High School in Bakersfield and later at West High School.

Russell was a dedicated educator who was also appreciated by his students before and after they graduated. He was proud that Rick Mears was one of his former students. Russell had many interests. He was a talented craftsman/artisan who spent countless hours working on fine woodworking and metal projects in his shop at home. He derived much pleasure from making handcrafted gifts for friends and family throughout the years. He also put his industrial arts skills to work on constructing wooden, miniature, motorized power racing boats, for which he also constructed the motors, for statewide competitions for many years. Russell was also an excellent cook and loved to share his family recipes with his guests. He enjoyed gardening and was talented at it. He selected many varieties of flowers that he grew from seeds and artfully filled his flowerbeds with them. He also enjoyed his cactus and vegetable garden. After retirement from teaching, he would host his buddies, who would frequently drop by his shop in his home, just to share project ideas, techniques, stories and to shoot the breeze. Some of those same buddies were members of a weekly Liar's Club that Russell enjoyed so much.

For many years, Russell and Elsa loved to travel on cruises as their favorite type of vacation enjoying the Caribbean, Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, Europe and Asia. Over the years, they also drove across the United States on summer vacation more than twelve times to visit relatives back East and in the Mid-West.

With deep gratitude, Elsa Kominitsky would like to thank the wonderful caregivers and staff members at The Pointe at Summit Hills, assisted living facility in Bakersfield, who took excellent care of Russell during much of his residence there. She also thanks the Hoffman Hospice caregivers for the wonderful care they provided over these last months. Elsa also wishes to thank Susan Wilson and Laura Stockton, dear friends, who have dedicated themselves to overseeing the Kominitskys' care.

A memorial service is pending and burial at the Bakersfield National Cemetery will be announced at a later date.
Published by Bakersfield Californian on Jun. 6, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

7 Entries
Michael & Karen Beauregard
June 18, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Gwyn van valey
June 12, 2021
He had the patience of Buddha. Always made time and took time for his students. A teacher that genuinely cared. He was one of the very few I admired.
Jerry White
June 12, 2021
Mr. K’s class was one of the best classes to take at South, one of the good guys, will be missed God Speed my friend
David Goodman
June 7, 2021
This was a prince of a man he was my shop and crafts teacher in 69 70 71 .
He was a true craftsman and liked everyone .
He had this brillant sarcasam he shared with me .
Everyone loved this gentleman .rest in peace Mr. K
Steven Blackmon
June 6, 2021
Uncle Russ was my Dad's best friend. They made and raced remote controlled small boats. They were in a RC Club. Our family was close to Uncle Russ and Auntie Elsa, since we spent almost every weekend together at a lake with the RC Club boat racers. Uncle Russ only lived a few blocks away from us. Loved to go swim in his pool. At South High School I took all his classes. Got straight A's too. If I cleaned his chalk boards he would let me leave class early. I would slip and call him Uncle Russ instead of Mr. Kominitsky in class. I loved learning from him to work with clay and leather. I still have a belt I made that has Beth on it in my hope chest. When things at home got really hard with my parents divorce and then being on my own my senior year he hired me as a weekly housekeeper for extra money. I really appreciated him and Auntie Elsa for this. They always looked out for me. When I came to Bakersfield, CA to visit thank you for all your talks and old time stories and telling my Daughter she looked like me when I was young. I will always remember you Uncle Russ. Rest in Peace. So sad. Love you, Beth
Beth Young Crossen
June 6, 2021
I loved Mr. Kominitsky! I was so lucky to have him as a crafts teacher at South High. Oh my, he was funny and so patient. He was introduced to us hippie kids in his years and went wih the flow. Obit shows his multi nice.
I recall Mrs. Kominitsky had a great reputation as an phys ed teacher.
Love to you and rest softly. ♡
Tamee Hylton
June 6, 2021
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results