Russell Wayne Brahmstedt was born on March 27, 1951 in Monmouth, Illinois, and died peacefully at home in Avon, attended by his wife, Sarah Ellen (Whisler), his daughter, K. Emily (Brahmstedt) Gates, and Pastor, Jon Prain. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond Wayne Brahmstedt and Pauline Elizabeth (Metzner), his brother-in-law, Steve Coates, and his father-in-law, Daniel Whisler. In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by two grandsons, Quinton Wayne and Miles Calvin Gates, his son in law, Nathan Gates, his sister, Susie Coates, his mother-in-law Zella (Young) Whisler, sister-in-law, Karen (Bill) Rightor, aunt, Peg Sechek, his niece, Stacy Dew (Ryan) and three grandnephews and numerous cousins.
Raised in Alexis, he graduated from high school there in 1969. In 1970, he began working for the Burlington Northern Railroad, where he worked for the next 15 years. More importantly, that same year he married Sarah, to whom he remained married until the end of his life. In 1979, the young couple was blessed with their only child, Emily.
Soon after, Russell completed a demanding mid-life career change, earning a degree from Western to become a middle school math teacher. In this role he displayed a patient temperament, a knack for teaching and a bottomless capacity for affectionately teasing his students.
In 2002, Emily married Nathan, a union that would produce two grandsons he deeply cherished. He loved visiting them at the farm, and especially loved giving them rides on the mower. He was always excited to hear about their interests and achievements, share stories with them and enjoyed sneaking them sweets when their parents weren’t looking.
Russell loved hunting, cards (pitch), music (Tom Petty and the Beatles in particular), spending time with friends and family, and many forms of dessert. He especially loved being outside. He would often pause while mowing at the farm to admire the waving grasses or pull over to take in a blazing summer sunset. In moments like these, he was known to comment: “God is my favorite artist”.
Russell was a genuinely good-natured man who was quick to make a joke and was always generous with smiles and laughter. He was a beloved friend and community member. He was extraordinarily patient, kind and loving, with just enough playful orneriness to keep you on your toes. He will be deeply missed by his grateful family members and friends.
A visitation and pie reception will be held at the Avon Federated Church on Friday, August 2, 2019 from 5-7 p.m., and will be followed by a funeral on Saturday, August 3, 2019, 11:00 a.m., also to be held at the church. Russell’s wishes were that in lieu of flowers memorial donations in his name may be made to the Angels in Action Relay for Life Team, the livestock show at the Avon Fat Steer Show, or the American Heart Association. Please sign the online guestbook atwww.wisefamilyfuneralhome.com. Wise Family Funeral Home Avon, IL is in charge of the arrangements.
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