Russell Eugene Smidt
Russell Eugene Smidt, 80, passed away in his home, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Due to the pandemic, a gathering to remember Russell will be held at a later date. Memorials are suggested to Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills.
Russell was born in the Lake Mills area Sept. 18, 1940, to Darius and Minnie Smidt and was raised on small farms, where the family milked cows, raised pigs and chickens, and kept a large garden, as many other farm families did back in the day.
A strong man with a firm handshake, quick smile, and unending work ethic, Russell spent his early adult life farming near Silver Lake, with his first wife, Marilyn (Howard White) and three daughters (Deb, Donna and Darla—“the three D’s”), while also working at the meat packing plant in Albert Lea, Minn.
In the late 1970s, he ventured into the restaurant and lounge business in Plymouth. Later, he made his home in Northwood, and Austin, Minn., and dabbled in flipping houses and developing rental property.
Most recently, Russell made his home in Lake Mills, and lived a quiet life serving as custodian at Salem Lutheran Church. He was a good worker, friend and neighbor, and was always ready to listen and lend a hand. Although he did not desire a spotlight, he will leave a void in the hearts of all who know him. He will be remembered for his smile and accompanying chuckle, along with words of wisdom, such as “If you’re going to do something, do it right,” and “Marriage licenses should be like driver’s licenses—you renew them every five years otherwise they expire.”
Russell is survived by his daughters: Deb McDonald (John), Duluth, Minn.; Donna Hengesteg (Mike), Lake Mills; Darla Jaycox (Mike), Rochester, Minn.; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; as well as two brothers and sisters; and many nieces and nephews.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents, Minnie and Darius Smidt; and brother, Howard.