Harry du Russel passed away on May 31, 2024, at Gillis House in Merritt, BC at the age of 89 years. Harry was born in Bemersyde, Saskatchewan. He was predeceased by his mother Margaret Florence MacFadyen, his father Nelson Stuart du Russel, and his sister Nelda Isabel Morley. He is survived by his sister Patricia Constance Buchanan, brother Eric Nelson du Russel, loving wife Carma-Lee du Russel, six children Wendy, Delva, Dawn, Ryan, Alison, and Jamie, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and friends.

He lived on the family farm in Bemersyde, Saskatchewan until he was five years old and then moved two and a half miles east of Corning, Saskatchewan. In 1945, he moved to Grand Coulee (eight miles west of Regina Airport). In the spring of 1947, he moved to Francis.

In 1939, his du Russel grandparents took Nelda, Pat, and Harry (age four) to Broadview, Saskatchewan to see Queen Elizabeth. This was King George VI and Queen consort Elizabeth’s grand tour of Canada.

As a nine-year-old, he had several appendix attacks. He went to the hospital on the train where he had the appendix removed and came home two weeks later. A massive infection developed in the wound site and he had to return to the hospital. As it turned out, the air ambulance started in Saskatchewan and it was the third day in service. The family set fires in the field to direct the plane in. There was a doctor and a nurse on board. They picked up Harry and his mom. He was flown to Regina Hospital where he was readmitted and put back on penicillin injections every 3 hours. (Penicillin had only been released from military use to the public 6 months before.)

In 1953, while he attended Scott Collegiate, he came 5th in the mile run. At age 18, he was chosen to go to spring baseball camp with the St. Louis Browns in Thomasville, Georgia. It was a three-week ball school with intensive training, running five miles a day and different position workouts. Harry really enjoyed this experience and spoke of it often. In later years, while raising his children, he coached them in batting.

From 1954 to 1960, he attended U of S. He graduated with a BSA, took one year of education and agriculture. While at U of S, he came 1st in middleweight wrestling, and his team were the Western Canadian University Champions. He was head of the men’s athletic board and social committee. While going to university, Harry worked summers in the Yukon and worked on the Alaska Highway. This is how he put himself through university.

He had many skills and jobs, some of which included district manager for General Motors out of Swift Current. Then he decided to haul cars, which he did for forty years.

Throughout his life, he enjoyed many activities. At six months old, he learned to dance in his mother’s arms while his dad played music in the band. He learned to play piano and drums in his teenage years. He loved hunting, gardening, camping, and canoeing. He spoke of the many camping trips he took with his children.

Good-bye, Harry, till we meet again.
At Harry’s request, there will be no service.

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2 Tributes

  1. Bryan Harvey
    Posted July 12, 2024 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    So sorry to hear of Harry’s passing. Harry was one of life’s true characters. He was interested in everything and everybody. We always enjoyed our times with Harry and will miss his wit and knowledge. Our thoughts are with his family.

    Bryan and Eileen harvey

  2. Victoria DuRussel
    Posted July 12, 2024 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    My condolences to everyone that knew him. He has made a great impact on our lives. Goodbye Uncle Harry ❤️

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