Russell Parsons was born in Driggs, Idaho on April 19th, 1955, the 4th child of Vernal and Ruby Parsons. He is the little brother of Charles, Dee, and the late Mary Fay. He became a big brother himself when Kevin was born. Russell was raised on the family farm in Smith Canyon and there taught the principles of hard work and how to care for the land and livestock.
He attended school here in Teton Valley, Idaho where he participated in activities like Choir and FFA and made a name for himself on the football field and the wrestling mat. He was a 2 time state wrestling champion in High School and continued his wrestling career at both Ricks College, where he also played football for a season, and at Boise State University. HIs love of sport was evident throughout his life. He was a bull dog on the church basketball court, a tenacious wrestling and basketball coach to multiple generations, and his own kids’ favorite little league baseball coach.
While attending Ricks College he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Australia, Sydney Mission. It was there that he met Debra Croucher and they were later married upon his return in 1976.
Children followed shortly after. Milissa was born while Russell finished his B.S. in Physical Education and Science at Boise State. Lucas was born in Driggs shortly after graduation. Joshua and Matthew joined the family in Arco while he taught Science and coached various sports at Butte MIddle School. Alicia and Jared arrived while the family lived in Eagle, Idaho. iIn 1994 Russell and Debra decided to return to the Valley to help care for Vernal and to help run the Victor Steak Bank, Ruby’s restaurant in Victor. They, along with their children, built the home they have lived in for the past 26 years.
As the older children left the home, Russell and Debra added Olivia, Dakota and Austyn through adoption and his family was complete. 3 sons-in-law, 3 daughters-in-law and 11 grandkids have since been added to his family tree.
In 2015 he was diagnosed with cancer, received treatment, and has been cancer free for 4+years.
The most important thing in Russell’s life was his family and to support them he wore a number of different hats. He was a teacher, a cook, a driver, a builder, a guide, a custodian, a farmer, a coach, and a fixer.
He passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 2020 in a tragic accident in Driggs. He is survived by his 3 brothers, 9 children, 3 sons in law, 3 daughters in law, and 11 grandchildren.
Russell was a beloved father and a cherished friend. His legacy and lessons will live on and he will be missed.
Funeral services will be on Wednesday, February 26 at 11 a.m. at the Victor L.D.S. Church. A visitation will be on Tuesday, February 25 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Valley Mortuary and again from 9:30-10:45 at the Victor L.D.S. Church prior to the funeral.