Russell WIlliam Lindstrand passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019. “Russ” was born on November 25, 1924, in Grass Range, Montana to Emil and Anna Lindstrand. As a young boy he participated in football, basketball and track and he was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying many opportunities to hunt and fish in Montana’s backcountry. At the age of 18 Russ made the decision to serve his country during World War ll and enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division, and headed to the Pacific Theatre. Russ saw action on the islands of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. It was on Iwo Jima, with his Division being held in reserve on ships, where he witnessed the famous flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. Several days later, his Division was called into the action. The toll on the marines was catastrophic, but the island was finally secured. Russ never spoke of what happened on Iwo Jima except that of 239 men in his company, only 19 were able to walk off the island. He was miraculously one of those 19, and was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds. As Russ waited on Okinawa for his Division to recuperate and regain strength for the invasion of Japan, the war ended and he returned to life back in the states. He returned to Montana for awhile but decided to move to Sunnyside, Washington to work for his cousin who had a jewelry store in the area. Eventually, Russ decided to attend Bradley University in Chicago to become a jeweler and watchmaker himself. Upon completion of his studies, he moved back to Sunnyside to work again for his cousin. It was there where he met his future wife Arla Mae Haney. After a long courtship that included many ski trips, golf, and other outdoor activities, Russ and Arla were married in 1959. Shortly thereafter, they opened their own Jewelry Store in Sunnyside, aptly named “Lindstrand Jewelers.” Russ became extremely busy selling jewelry, repairing watches and clocks, and participating in many community organizations. His business flourished and he made many friends from his customers and business associates. Every day began with a cup of coffee in the morning and one followed in the afternoon at the Safari Restaurant where he and other local businessmen would gather to discuss the events of the day. Russ was a great provider for his family and his integrity and work ethic were exemplary. He worked long hours and rarely took a vacation but he enjoyed attending local 4-H events on the weekends with his family. It was not until later in life that he would take an afternoon off once a week to play golf with his friends. Russ decided to retire at the end of 2000. He closed his business, said goodbye to all his customers, and began his retirement. His days were now spent with his wife working on their small farm, golfing, attending meetings at the Masonic Lodge, and helping raise his grandchildren. Declining health forced Russ and his wife to move from their farm in 2015. They moved into the city limits of Sunnyside where despite physical limitations, Russ would raise the American flag every day for the country he loved. He spent his last days with his wife at Sunnyside Assisted Living, who provided him with compassionate care. Russ is survived by his wife of 60 years, Arla Lindstrand; his three children, Lori Van de Graaf of Sunnyside Keri (Chad) Nestor of Tacoma, and Eric (Eva) Lindstrand of ZIllah; his sister Joyce (Bill) Coyle of Great Falls Montana; his grandchildren Kyle, Cole, Drew, Nate, Chace, Kensi, Kaia, and Lia; and many nieces and nephews.
Russ was preceded in death by his Mother Anna, and his father Emil; sisters Thelma, Florence, Lillian, and Hazel; and brothers Vernon, Harry, Kenny, and Bucky. In Lieu of flowers please consider contributions to Heartlinks or Shriners Hospital for Children.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, Washington. A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 10:00 am also at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, Washington, burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens with Military Honors. Those wishing to sign Russ’s online memorial may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements.