Bruce Russell Passes Away at 71


Bruce Dale Russell passed away on May 4, 2024 at his home in Hermiston with his wife and children at his side. Bruce was 71 years old.

He was the middle child of three boys, born on Sept. 8, 1952 to Glenn Russell and Mary Gundlefinger Russell in Walla Walla, Wash.

He attended West Park Elementary School, Armand Larive Middle School and Hermiston High School, graduating in 1970. While growing up, Bruce worked on various farms hoeing watermelons, driving tractors and using various farm equipment.

Bruce married his high school sweetheart, Jerelyn Zielke on Oct. 31, 1970. At that time Bruce and Jerelyn purchased a small farm to raise their future family. Bruce began his 23-year career with Marlette Homes. Bruce and Jerelyn were blessed with their surprise twins, a boy and a girl, Rodney Wayne and Dana Elaine in 1971, followed three years later with Casey Lee in 1974. The family added pigs, a cow, chickens, dogs and cats to their farm.

Bruce and Jerelyn moved to Lincoln City in 1994 after their kids were raised, where Bruce got his contractor’s license to pursue a career in construction. He worked in and around the Oregon coast on numerous projects before retiring after 24 years. In 2018 they moved back to Hermiston to be closer to family.

Bruce loved fishing Oregon rivers and the ocean, crabbing off the docks, mountain camping with the family, hunting for deer, elk and mushrooms, and picking huckleberries.

Bruce will be greatly missed by his family: brother, Don Russell; wife of 53 years, Jerelyn; sons, Rod (Bre) Russell and Casey (Jacki) Russell; daughter, Dana (Michael) Johnson; 14 grandchildren, Ashley, Luke, Hunter, Kyle, Nicole,

Asher, James, Hailey, Christina, AnaBelle, Gavin, Belladonna, Aurora, and Jackson; and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; younger brother, Steven Russell; and sister-in-law, Sue Russell.

A family gathering will take place this summer to remember and celebrate Bruce’s life.

Please share memories of Bruce with his family at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.


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