Michael Bruce Russell (75) former resident of St. Maries and current resident of Post Falls, ID passed away at Sacred Heart Medical Center March 17, 2021. He was born to Robert and Norma (Russell) June 4, 1945 in Spokane, WA. Mike grew up on the Harrison Flats. He graduated from Kootenai High School with the class of 1963.
Following high school, Mike worked various jobs around St. Maries. He married Denise Thompson on October 20, 1965. The couple had two children, David Michael and Darrin Marc.
Mike enlisted with the U.S. Navy and served overseas in the Philippines and Vietnam. He was honorable discharged in 1969. Mike went to work driving cement truck. An injury on the job prompted him to attend auto body school. He opened his own body shop in Coeur d’ Alene, and ran it for several years.
In 1975 he returned to St. Maries and went to work for his brother Bob. Mike opened Mike Russell Construction in 1985. With the idea of retiring, he sold his equipment to LaJack in 1990. For six years he temporarily retired and enjoyed traveling.
Denise and Mike divorced in 1996, and it was also then he returned back to work owning and operating some belly dump trucks. He met Marilyn Howard, and the couple married in November 1998 in Lake Tahoe. They lived in St. Maries until 2005, then they moved to Post Falls, ID. Mike built their home before again returning to work.
He started his pilot car company in 2009, and that business blossomed into seven pilot cars. His son Dave came to work for him in 2013, and Mike turned a majority of the business over to him in 2015.
In January 2020, Mike was diagnosed with Leukemia. This slowed him down a bit and forced him to retire to the shop rebuilding cars. He loved traveling, camping, hanging out at the back yard firepit with friends and family, and going on rides in his side by side exploring new places. A true adventurist at heart, if there wasn’t a road, he made one.
Mike is survived by his wife Marilyn at their home in Post Falls, ID and his son Dave (Janelle) Russell of Rathdrum; stepchildren Shawna Howard of Michigan, Dawn (Kyle) Fritz of Montana, and Sarah Howard of Spirit Lake, ID; his siblings Nancy (Lanny) Sjoden of Post Falls, ID and Bob and Peg Russell of Polson, MT. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, his son Darrin Russell, and his sister Norma Green.
A graveside service will be held for Mike on Saturday March 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries, ID. A visitation will be prior to the service from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Hodge Funeral Home in St. Maries. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to American Legion Post #25 or the Lighted Cross Fund in St. Maries.
Please visit his online memorial at hodgefuneralhome.com.