PORTAGE—Mark W. Russell, age 63, of Portage passed away on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Mark was born on June 20, 1956, in Fort Atkinson. He is the son of Hance and Elsa (Franzmann) Russell. He and his sister, Merry, joined the Russell family farm when Mark was four and Merry was six, in Russell Township in Westfield, Wisconsin. The family farm had burned down on New Years Day in 1974, and Mark’s bus route changed. He took Peggy’s seat on the school bus and the rest is history. Mark was a 1974 graduate of Westfield High School. Mark married Peggy Mire on January 8, 1977, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Westfield. On January 21, 1977, they welcomed son, Matt, into their family. He had played football and volleyball in high school, and enjoyed softball throughout his life (he was a third baseman and pitcher), playing as many as five nights a week and any tournament he could play in. He loved watching the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He seldom missed any of these games. Mark had worked at Brakebush after high school. He went on to MATC in Madison obtaining a Business Management degree. He had worked at NAPA in Portage, and the family moved to Portage in 1980. Over the years, he started working for various companies, doing deliveries in the Madison area. Most recently, he came back to work in Portage and worked as the commercial manager for AutoZone of Portage, for the last six years. Mark was a member of the Elks Lodge, BPOE #675, Portage, and had been the Exalted Ruler, 2009 to 2010.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Russell, Portage; his son, Matt Russell, Portage; his mother, Elsa Russell, Montello; his siblings, Merry Russell, Milwaukee, her son, Kenny and granddaughter, Autumn, Patti (Jeff Smith) Russell, Ripon, and her children, Ivy Machmueller, Ripon and her son, Abel Reysop, and Holly Machmueller, Milwaukee, Naomi (Dan) Smith, Texas, and their children, Russell Smith and Rachel Smith, Texas, and Frank Russell, Montello; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Naomi and Warner Franzmann, and Francis and Lillian Russell, and his dad, Hance.
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A Service of Remembrance by his fellow Elks members and friends will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020 at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage. Inurnment will be private at a later date. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020 at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage. A celebration of Mark’s life will continue at the Elks Lodge, 201 W. Conant St., Portage.
“We may not have had a perfect life, but sure kept at it, and had fun along the way.” Mark Russell
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family, to designate to a special project.
At the family’s request, if you are able to attend, please wear your Packers, Badgers, or Brewers attire.