Benjamin Russell “Grandpa” Reynolds, 87, of Sunnyside died on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at his home surrounded by his family and some of his nursing staff.
Grandpa was born July 6, 1926 in Sigourney, Iowa to Ben S. Reynolds and Martha Bralliar Reynolds.
Grandpa was raised in Sigourney, where he attended his first three years of school in a one-room county school house.
Russell moved to New London, Iowa in 1941, where he attended New London High School through his sophomore year before enlisting in the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday, then was stationed in Guam and learned ship repair. He was honorably discharged in 1946. In 1950 Russell was called back during the Korean War serving aboard the U.S. Epping Forrest.
After WWII he met Helen A Noah. On Nov. 11, 1949 they were married in Hardy, Ark.
Grandpa was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed talking to amateur radio operators all over the world, using call sign KC7VNB.
Unable to receive his high school diploma after serving his country, Russell walked with the Sunnyside High School class of 2005 to receive his diploma through the Operation Appreciation Program.
Russell was a member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. He served as the church Jr. Warden for 27 years. “If something needs fixed, don’t fuss, call Russ.”
Russell was a 50-year member of the Masons, Masonic Lodge #138 in Sunnyside, member of the plumbers and steam fitters Local #598 in Pasco, lifetime member of VFW #3482 in Sunnyside, American Legion Post #0073; Yakima Chapter #21 Royal Arch Masons, Lower Yakima Valley Elks Lodge #2112, National Rifle Association, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and Westinghouse Hanford Retirees Association.
One of the highlights of his life was being honored as a veteran and participating in the Inland Northwest Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in September of 2011.
Russell is survived by his two daughters, Linda (John) Foreman of Goldendale and Connie Harvey of Spokane; four grandchildren, Debbie (Steve) Hazzard, Scott Nathlich, Craig and Jeff Harvey; six great-grandchildren, Stephen (Tanya) Hazzard, Amber Hazzard, Jamie and Michael Nathlich and Sierra and Ian Harvey; and one great-great-granddaughter, Karsen Hazzard; and a special friend, Jeanne Hurt of Bainbridge Island.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Helen A Reynolds; his father, Benjamin S Reynolds; mother, Martha Bralliar Reynolds; stepmother, Lee G. Reynolds; sister, Marilyn Lyons; and a great-great- grandson, Owen James Hazzard.
A special thank you to Dr. Brady, Dr. Wrung and all of grandpa’s nurses for the love, support and caring that they shared with our grandpa and family.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Sunnyside.
Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, American Cancer Society or Inland Northwest Honor Flight, 608 West Second Ave., Suite 309, Spokane, WA 99201.
Those wishing to sign Russell’s on-line memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com.
Smith Funeral Homes Ltd. and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.