It is with sadness that we have come together today to celebrate the life of my uncle Russell Zastre.
Russell was born on November 10, 1937 in Cayer, Mb, the eldest son of Doralice and Israel. He passed away peacefully on March 4, 2019 at the age of 81 at his residence in the Dr. Gendreau Personal Care Home.
Russell was not easy on himself. When he worked, he worked hard. When he played....it seemed he liked to play HARDER! He did not let being diabetic slow him down.
I know Russell liked my mom. Someone told me that Elsie was his favorite. He would stop by with mending, and she would fix the clothes he brought. Other times, Russell would stop by to borrow "a case of beer.
Russell had a few careers in his lifetime. He worked as a farmhand helping his dad with mowing, raking and hauling stacked hay home, all of this work done with horses. There were no tractors on that farm. Russell worked on various farms in the area and worked for his brother-in-law during calving season. Russell had horse, blue roans I believe. I remember watching for them as we drove to Memere and Pepere's house. My Dad purchased one he called "Flip" of course a blue roan, maybe this is why I remember blue roans. Flip was a stubborn horse not letting me ride her. She wouldn't buck, she just would not go anywhere I wanted to go. Just like Russell maybe? You could not tell Russell what to do unless he was ready.
Russell worked as a labourer in the construction world. He worked for multiple companies over the years with BIRD construction being one. His construction work took him to work on the hydro dam at Grand Rapids. After years of working in the big city lights, he showed his brother Ernie the connections to the construction world.
Quiet country living must have been calling to him. Russell started commercial fishing with Svienn Gillis and he eventually obtained his own commercial fishing license. With his move to Ste. Rose, he still had fishing nets, but no truck or snow machine to fish with.
Material things were not necessary for Russell. All he wanted was a warm bed to sleep in and a chair to sit on, nothing fancy. He enjoyed having friends and family over to have a beer with him. His beer of preference was "BLUE". Maybe that was so he didn't have to share, not too many people say they'd like a "Blue".
Russell's first love he introduced to the family was Annette. As a kid, I remember wondering why is this good looking lady was with Russell? From their marriage, their son Rodney was born. But like a lot of relationships, they grew apart. The second lady Russell brought around was Doris and from this relationship, their son Myles was born. Maybe this is why he was called "the Pipe". If you didn't know Russell's given name, you probably heard about "the Pipe".
Russell was predeceased by his parents Doralice and Israel Zastre, his brother Andy, his sisters Lorraine, Eva, and Elsie, his brother-in-law Louie Thibert and his nephew Clark Wilkinson.
Russell leaves to mourn his passing; his sons Rodney Zastre, Myles Ranville and his wife Daisy, his grandchildren Tyrone, Trevon and Trenise Ranville McDonald, his brother Ernie and wife Bev, his sister Doris Wilkinson, his brothers-in-law Bill Bray, Johnny Sigurdson, his sister-in-law Ferne Zastre along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 15th, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the Ste. Rose Community Centre in Ste. Rose du Lac.
Interment will take place at a future date in the Cayer Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Should friends so desire, donations may be made in memory of Russell to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba or to a charity of one's choice.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5