Russell William Winkler passed away at home with his family by his side on April 21, 2021 at the young age of 59, after battling brain cancer for eighteen months.
He was born on February 17, 1962 to Robert W. and M. Jeannine Nokes Winkler in Murray, Utah. He was the fourth child of five kids. He graduated Jordan High School in 1980, and then went on to serve a LDS mission in West Virginia. After completing his mission, he attended Utah State University before meeting his eternal companion, Kristine Jo Rigby. Russ and Kris were married on November 8, 1985 and were later sealed together in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on April 9, 1988 for all time and eternity. They were residents of Kearns for almost their entire marriage of 35 years where they raised their children.
Russell had many hobbies, but most of his time was spent serving others, spending time at the family cabin, and playing with his grandchildren. Throughout his life he became a great handyman and used his skills to help anybody who needed them. One of his happiest accomplishments in life was helping build the family cabin which became his happy place. He spent much of his spare time at the cabin making improvements and maintaining the property, and would occasionally attempt to be friends with the wild deer, bears, and cougars. When he wasn't spending time at the family cabin, he would be snuggling any grandchild that was within reach. He had the family name of “the baby hog”, and would gladly walk around church with any baby in the ward.
Russ made lifelong friends from his childhood through his adult life; many coming from his neighborhood, school, work, and from the cabin community. He loved spending time with them and wouldn't miss the opportunity to recount the many stories and shenanigans that they got into, which there were many.
He is survived by his dear sweet wife Kristine; four children Megan (Brandon) Holbrook, Andrew (Sarah) Winkler, Katlyn (Benjamin) Shrewsbury, Kelan Winkler; four grandchildren Sadie, Caden, Owen, Wyatt; four siblings Karla, Robert, Lori, Peggy. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his grandparents.
His family would like to express their thanks and gratitude for the amazing outpouring of love and support from his many friends and family. Russell was someone who was committed to serving his family and community. He is dearly missed, but his spirit and example will never be forgotten.
A viewing will be held on Friday, April 30th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the LDS church located at 5938 W 6200 S, Kearns UT. The funeral service will be held Saturday May 1st at 11:00 a.m., at the same church house, with a Family Gathering from 10:00-10:45 a.m. He will be laid to rest at the Larkin Sunset Gardens, Sandy Utah.
Life Story Info
Dear Winkler Children,
I have so many fond memories of your family. It has been sad to see your Dad pass from this earth, then your mom, and now your brother Russell who was still in the prime of his life. My heart goes out to his wife, children, grandchildren and you all his siblings. Laurie my faithful baby sitter!! I know someday families will be reunited and we will experience joyous times together. Jesus Christ made this possible for us if we but do our best, repent and follow his teachings. My love to all of you!
All of us here at Alexander's created great memories with Russ. His smile, his mechanical aptitude and his willingness to always take an extra shift when needed made him so valuable to our team. For me personally, his openness in sharing his journey with cancer has helped me so much as I proceed on my own path with this disease.
Kris and family, we send our love to you all and our heartfelt thanks for sharing Russ with us. As you continue to make and share memories over the next few days, my prayers are that they will be joyful ones, as you see a life well-lived. I know that life is eternal, and that you will be watched over by Russ from Heaven. Just like the cabin, he has begun to build your family mansion for the eternities, where you will never be separated again!
Russ, I have SO many memories of you too many to count. You were like another brother to me, growing up across the street from us and just being an amazing friend to all of us. Reading the beautiful story of your life and how you touched so many lives during your short life here. Many friends come into our lives but only a few leave with their footprints on our hearts as you have.
I am sure that your parents are glad to have you home and back in their arms, you have served your mission here on earth and you are going to do great things in heaven. You did good here with your time here, you should be very proud of your stay here. I know your family is. You were one of the good ones. Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed.