Russell E. Williams, 79, of Billings, formerly of Medicine Lake, passed away on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Billings.
Russell was born on June 29, 1939, to Elbert and Helen (Nelson) Williams in Plentywood. He was preceded in death by both his parents and sister Neva Smith. He survived by his wife Thelma; son Todd (Ana) Williams; daughter Heather (Dan) Renier; and his six grandchildren, Timothy, Katlin and Jordan Williams and Lauryn, Nathan and Kristyn Renier.
Russ farmed and ranched in the Reserve/Medicine Lake area most of his life. After retirement from the farm, Russ continued to stay busy with his passion for buying and selling various things. He opened and ran several secondhand shops in Antelope and Plentywood. The shops allowed him to fuel his outgoing personality and passion for meeting new people and seeing friends. Most people would say you may have come as a stranger but would leave as a friend. Russ was a very kind and generous man who had a soft heart for children. Any time he would see a family or anyone with children, he would ask the parents if he could give their children either a stuffed animal from his ample supply or a quarter from his always stocked pocket. He got so much joy from seeing the smiles and excitement from the children.
Russ was also known as the watermelon man to some of his friends and family. He would often stop by a neighbor in the field and serve watermelon from the tailgate of the pickup.
Russell was so very proud of his grandchildren; he was always interested in how they were doing and what they were involved in. Russell will be missed and remembered in our hearts for his kindness, love, stories and his always-present sense of humor.
A celebration of life service will be on at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at City Church, 407 Wicks Lane, in Billings.
In lieu of flowers the family requests a donation be made in his honor to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Camp Mak-A-Dream. Michelotti-Sawyers is assisting with arrangements.