Russell Brockel, age 75, of Ortonville passed away on Friday, July 17, 2015, at his residence after a courageous fight with pancreatic cancer.
Russell Ray Brockel was born on February 5, 1940 in Mobridge, South Dakota to Wolvin and Hertha (Metzger) Brockel. He grew up and graduated from high school in McLaughlin, South Dakota. Russell then furthered his education, graduating from Northern State College in Aberdeen in 1967.
After graduation Russell taught in Grenora, North Dakota for two years. He also worked for the Minneapolis school system, teaching junior high industrial technology for 30 years. A good disciplinarian, Russell gained the respect of his peers, making many lasting friendships with students and teachers during his career. Russell was also well known for assisting beginning teachers with developing a successful career.
On August 2, 1985, Russell was united in marriage with Marlys Erickson. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and developed into one of the best of both. He was a great athlete, playing and lettering in basketball at Northern State. Russell also played softball and racquetball after graduation. In all of these aspects Russell was honored to develop many real and devoted friends. He took great pride in his lake home where he planted trees, shrubs, and had a garden that was “next to none.” He will be greatly missed by many.
Russell is survived by his wife, Marlys Brockel of Ortonville; four daughters: Debi (Tim) Bourassa of El Mirage, AZ; Barbie Schultz of Blaine, MN; Pennie Thompson of Eagan, MN; Pammie Priestley of Blaine, MN; two step-sons: Jeffrey (Lisa) Erickson of Germantown, WI; Timothy (Annette) Erickson of Bremerton, WA; seven granddaughters; six grandsons; and brother, Larry (Vonnie) Brockel of Bloomington.
He was preceded in death by his parents; uncles: Rueben, Argo, and Jim; and aunts: Helen, Agnes, Irene, and Margie.