Russell Wayne Richter, age 70, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, June 19, 2017. He was born in Havre on Sept. 14, 1946, to Edna June (Norenberg) and John Richter.
He married Rita Manolovits in 1970 in Superior. They were married at a butcher shop by the Justice of the Peace, who also worked as a butcher, and was busy at work. From this union they had two children, Stephanie and Jeremy.
Russ was employed at the Electric Co-op in Glasgow and also owned an H & R Block. After moving to Missoula in 1985 he worked for Missoula Electric Co-op. After a back injury left him permanently disabled he and mom decided to become foster parents. They enjoyed the many sets of children that brought joy and love to our home over the years.
Dad threatened for a year that when Stephanie graduated he and Mom were going to "sell everything they owned and hit the road," and much to my surprise they bought a fifth-wheel and a large dually diesel truck and did just that in 1991. They traveled to 26 states; Dad only stopping when Mom had to stop and pee, which was how he always drove (I remember several very close calls when traveling in my younger years with Dad!).
They worked as campground hosts in several locations for nine years. Their grandchildren enjoyed several weeks of their summers in Laclede, Idaho, with them. He had the honor of being with his grandson, Bradley, when he caught his first fish (all four inches of it), beginning his lifetime love of fishing. They traveled for seven years, before deciding to live close to their children and grandchildren and settled in Lolo.
During this time he enjoyed doing crossword puzzles (not just reserved for the mornings with a cup of coffee) and playing a good game of cribbage or Zilch. Dad loved going to the auction and garage sales, enjoying a good deal. What he loved most was family time (which included the birth of a surprising granddaughter) and enjoying a good meal with them or cooking for them. Much to Mom's dismay, Dad became a huge fan of cooking shows. He considered himself to be quite the chef, the Master of the BBQ, and the maker of the best sausage around.
His son-in-law, Bruce, will miss the many days spent helping Gpa with a new sausage recipe or making his family famous breakfast sausage. His brothers will miss the yearly gathering they called "The Feast of Gluttony" (or TFOG for short). There they would gather over nothing but good food for a weekend and continue bonding by arguing over silly things like who indeed was my grandmother's favorite or who was the better looking, with each insisting they were.
If Dad couldn't fix something then it was indeed broken. He always had a pen and paper ready to draw the latest design idea that he had read, seen or thought of. He was a giver of practical advice and a good confidant. You could usually find Dad in front of the computer, usually printing off a new recipe he had found. He taught that the principle of things was worth fighting for, even if you lost the fight. He will pass on his love of peanut butter on pancakes, a cold glass of milk with a slice of frosted cake stirred in, and that a cup of coffee is good anytime of the day.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a much loved sister, Shirley, and his infant brother, Ronnie. He is survived by my devoted and loving mother, Rita; his wife for 47 years. He will be lovingly remembered by his daughter, Stephanie (Tracey) and three grandchildren, Bradley, Autumn and Miranda; son Jeremy, a special son-in-law, Bruce Hart, daughter Kelly (Calvin) and their two children, and son Arlyn. He will be dearly missed by brothers, John (Gwen), Alvin (Erica), Lee, and numerous other family.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Condolences can be sent to Rita at PO Box 806, Lolo, Montana, 59847.