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D: 2018-11-14
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2222 Russell Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Phone: 307-634-1568
About An Amazing Life|Help

Russell Robert

February 8, 1934 – October 2, 2018

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Russell Reece

Obituary for Russell Robert Reece

Russell Robert Reece passed away peacefully early on October 2, 2018 at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center following several years of slowly deteriorating health. He was able to spend his final days surrounded by most of his family and the great amount of love they all shared with him.

Russ was born on February 8, 1934 in Los Angeles, CA to William H. Reece and Anne S. Reece (Granick). He was raised on a small farm in Porterville, CA where he developed his first love and passion, the raising of fine horses, livestock and agriculture. He graduated from Porterville High School in 1952 and immediately joined the United States Marine Corp, thereby cementing his second lifelong passion and love. Once a Marine, always a Marine (Semper Fi). He served in Korea. Unknown to most of the people later in his life, Russ spoke fluent Russian which led to his service as part of the Marine intelligence division. Upon his return from Korea, Russ was severely injured in an automobile accident that almost ended his life. He spent nearly a year in the hospital being treated for a broken neck and crushed larynx (which left him with the distinctive, raspy voice he was noted for) but being one of the toughest guys most people ever met, he walked out of that hospital and into the rest of a long and fulfilling life.

Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he attended Colorado State University, majoring in Animal Science. It was there he met the third love of his life, Norma A. Darnall. They were married in 1956 and began their 32 years of marriage back in Porterville. To this union was born Russ’ fourth greatest love and pride, his two sons, Bryce Richard in 1958 and Randall Allan in 1960. He imparted to them many things including his love of country, his strong work ethic, his pride and determination in always finishing whatever you start, his love of animals and agriculture and a strong conservative value and belief system. They have in turned carried those tenants forward and imparted them into their own children.

Russ had a long and successful career in business, beginning in sales and marketing in the veterinary and animal health industry, rising into management in some of the major corporations of the day in both the United State and Canada. Leaving the corporate world, he moved his family to Norma’s hometown of Riverton, WY where he started Wyoming Livestock Supply for Bruce McMillian, a successful Wyoming agri-businessman. He then operated several small Wyoming agri-businesses over the next several years. He and Norma lived for a time in Jackson, WY where he was the cow manager on the Snake River Ranch and they co-owned and operated the Rocky Mountain Oyster restaurant. After his divorce, he moved to Colorado and returned to corporate life for a short time. Quickly tiring of that, he then entered again into small business ownership in Colorado. It was during this time that he met and married his next love, Rayette Laird. They were married in 1992 and owned and operated the Red Hill Mining Company in Lyons, CO until its sale and their return to Cheyenne, WY in 1999.

When he wasn’t working and providing for his family, Russ had many hobbies and activities throughout his life that brought him joy and satisfaction. Early in his life, he rodeoed and raised good Quarter horses, and a particular source of pride for him was his friendship and association with many of the early day foundation quarter horse breeders. He loved to golf, hunt, fish, snowmobile and dance. A particular passion was teaching, helping and watching his sons raise and show livestock. He had many good friends over his life and truly enjoyed people. He was funny, outgoing, honest, sincere and straightforward. People warmed to him quickly and liked being with him. This was exemplified even during his final days when he developed many close attachments with his caregivers at CRMC who mourned his passing with his friends and family.

Russ was preceded in death by his parents; a younger brother, John (Charlotte); a younger sister, Cathy Lewis (Bill); and his step-son, David Stockdale. He leaves behind his first wife, Norma; their two sons,
Bryce and Randy, Randy’s wife Jeanne and his daughter-in-law of seventeen years, Barbara; his wife, Rayette; her son, Gary (Holly) and his son Aedan and Kaeyln; his adopted daughter-in-law, Karen; grandsons, Tyler (Jennifer) Reece, Grant Siddoway and Garett and Stephen Stockdale; granddaughters, Tabitha (Austin) Fleak and Ashlee Edmondson; and five great grandchildren that brought special joy to his final years, Ava and Emerson Reece, Madison and Aaron Fleak and Kynnedi Edmondson. In addition, there were many people who cared for and about Russ and considered him their friend, and the family knows they will miss him like they will.

Russ will be terribly missed but his family, but takes comfort in knowing that he lived a full and rewarding life well. He now resides in Heaven with the Lord and his many friends and family that preceded him there, and he is reunited with his most special friend and companion, his beloved little dog, Tootsie.

A memory service will be celebrated on Monday, October 8, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Lakeview Chapel at Schrader, Aragon Funeral Home with a reception to follow in the Schrader Reception Center. An interment service with military honors will follow the reception at the Mountain View Memorial Park.

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Service Information

Monday, October 8th, 2018 11:00am
Pastor Roger Rapp
Lakeview Chapel at Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home
2222 Russell Avenue
Cheyenne, WY

Interment Information

Mountain View Memorial Park Cemetery
10701 North Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, WY

Reception Information

Schrader Reception Center
2222 Russell Avenue
Cheyenne, WY