Russell Martin Syens, 71, of Friesland, passed away on Monday, June 3, 2019, with family at his side.

Russell was born in Beaver Dam, WI on July 1, 1947 a son of John “Jack” and Jennie (Alsum) Syens. Russ was united in marriage to Ruth W. Westra on August 7, 1970.

Russ began his adult life in 1966, faithfully serving his country in the United States Army as a Field Radio Repairman. His tour of duty during the Vietnam conflict took him to Germany, where he was stationed at Army Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany. He regaled many stories of his time there driving the Autobahn as well as local cuisine and culture. Upon returning home from service, he worked for Royal Lumber Yards in construction, eventually marrying Ruth Westra. He enrolled at MATC in the Data Processing program and graduated in 1971.

Russ began his career in Data Processing at CESA 5 and later moved to American Family Insurance, where he continued his love for computers and programming, retiring in 2005.

Russ enjoyed music and sang in the Friesland Men’s Community Chorus. He was a baptized and confessing member of the 1st Reformed Church of Friesland and served several terms as deacon. He was an active member of the Friesland Fire Department for many years.

Russ served his town by sitting on the Friesland Village Board, his county by serving on the board for the Columbia County Crisis Pregnancy Center, as well as the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department Award Committee.

Russ had a passion for classic cars, creating wood working projects, fishing and spirited debate on all topics.

Russ was a private person but drew great comfort in his relationship with Jesus Christ, which assured him that his life here on earth is not the end. As 50 years of diabetes finally took his toll, Russ looked forward with confident assurance of his restoration as he was welcomed through heaven’s gates.

Russ will be deeply missed and is survived by his loving wife Ruth; two daughters, Michele (Brad) Bruxvoort of Edgerton, MN and Andrea Syens of Brooklyn, WI; two sons, Jason (Judy) Syens and Russell Syens, both of Portage, WI. A granddaughter Gabrielle Kallemeyn and great-grandson Trey Michael. grandsons Johnathan Syens, Jackson Syens and Tyler Syens.

Step-grandchildren Cameron and Kloe. A sister Angie Dylak of Randolph.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Susan Burmania

The family would like to thank Agrace Hospice for their services, as well as, friends and neighbors in the Friesland community for food and accommodations.

Visitation for Russ will be held from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., followed by a celebration of life on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Friesland First Reformed Church, 107 East Winnebago Street, Friesland.

Celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at church with Rev. Rob Ford officiating. Military burial will take place at Friesland Cemetery.

Memorial fund may be directed to Columbia County Sherriff’s Department Awards Committee.

Randolph Community Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Community Funeral Homes Randolph-Waupun-Markesan

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