Russell William Sylvis, age 80, of Bozeman, MT, passed away after a brief illness on Thursday, November 3, 2016. He was with his loving son and daughter.
Russell was born on December 23, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska, to William Newton Sylvis and Francine Adeline Claire Ericksen Sylvis. He spent his childhood in Blair, Nebraska, until early in 1952 when his family moved to the Flying D Ranch in the Madison Valley. The family move to Bozeman in 1954. After graduation from Gallatin County High School in 1953, he started working at the Greenhouse at Montana State College maintaining the facility. He eventually moved up to Manager of the Plant Grown Center and retired in 1987. He met Elizabeth “Libby” Tonn in late 1963, and they married August 1, 1964. Together, they raised two children, Dan and Katie.
Russ’ greatest joy in life was spending time with his family. He was a loving, wise and humble man with a keen sense of humor and caring nature. He loved to garden in the Spring and would spend many hours planting the perfect flowers for his yard. He loved his many pets throughout the years, and leaves behind his beloved Border collie, Duffy. Russ loved his grandchildren, Russell and Nicholas and loved spending time with them. In 2003 when his grandson, Russell, was born, Russ became his sitter and took care of him during the day. His second grandson, Nicholas, was born in 2004. He never complained about changing diapers, crying or cleaning up messes they made. He helped shape Russell and Nicholas into the loving and intelligent young men that they are today.
Russ is survived by his children, Daniel Sylvis and Katie (Brian) Atkinson; grandsons, Russell and Nicholas Atkinson; sister, Sharon Icenoggle (Edgar) of Belgrade, MT; brother, Charles Sylvis (Joanne) of Redmond, OR; niece, Jodi Robertson of Twin Bridges, MT; nephews, Lance (Luz) Icenoggle of Billings, MT, Christopher Sylvis of Kent, WA, and Sean (Julie) Sylvis of San Francisco, CA.
Russ was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth Lee Sylvis and his parents, William Newton Sylvis and Francine Adeline Claire Ericksen Sylvis.
The family would like to express their continued appreciation to Dr. Colette Kirchoff of Bozeman and her husband, Steve, for the friendship, care, wisdom and faithful support they provided Russ and his family.
Memorials are suggested to the Humane Society-Beaverhead County, 80 Lagoon Rd., Dillon, MT 59725.
No services are planned at this time.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com