Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Russell "Rusty" Edward Donnell


Russell "Rusty" Edward Donnell

Born: Sun., Jan. 23, 1949

Died: Wed., Jun. 1, 2016


1:00 PM Wed., Jun. 08, 2016

Location: Redby Community Center

Funeral Service

1:00 PM Thu., Jun. 09, 2016

Location: St. Mary's Catholic Church

Russell "Rusty" Edward Donnell, age 67, of Redby, passed away on Tuesday, June 1st, 2016 at Essentia Health Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. Rusty was born on January 23rd, 1949 in Red Lake, Minnesota. He was one of 12 children born to Louis and Jane (Lussier) Donnell.

Rusty lived on the Red Lake Reservation his entire life. He attended The St. Mary Mission School and Red Lake High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy in December of 1968. After serving in the Vietnam War he was honorably discharged in 1973. Rusty worked numerous jobs throughout his life, including serving as a police officer, public safety commissioner, V.F.W. member, a member of the American Legion of Kelliher for 19 years, a commercial fisherman, a plumber for Housing Authority, a private contracting plumber with his brother (Donnell Plumbing) and a retired foreman for the Red Lake Sanitation Department. He loved the outdoors. Some of his favorite outdoors fun was fishing and hunting, although it didn't really matter what he was doing outdoors, as long as he was. Rusty enjoyed watching his old T.V. and nature shows, but given the option, he would watch sports, especially the Vikings and the Twins. Rusty will be deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

Family that Rusty meets again are his parents; Louis and Jane, brothers; Willard, Charlie and Leon Donnell, sisters; Bernadine Thunder and Sharon Barrett, grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Rusty leaves behind his lifelong partner of 36 years Ardella Bailey of Redby, son; Dolan Donnell of Redby, daughters; Lavette (Kevin Sigana) Donnell and Carren Donnell-Schoenborn both of Redby, adopted sons; Austin and Craig French of Redby, brothers; Lyle Laverne (Darlene) Donnell, Henry Donnell, Sr., Harold (Janie) Donnell, Herman (Jeanie) Donnell and Orlyn (Vangie) Donnell all of Redby, sister; Peggy (Mike Pemberton) Young of Redby, three grandchildren; Jhordan, Taylor and Dallas Donnell, one great grandson; Isaac Skinaway and many aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends.

An overnight wake for Rusty will begin at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 8th at the Redby Community Center in Redby and continue there until his 1:00 p.m. service on, Thursday, June 9th at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Red Lake. Father Jerry Rogers will officiate. Helping to lay Rusty to rest are Michael Donnell, Clinton Donnell, Henry Donnell, Jr., Brandon Fontenelle, Darren King, Kevin Sigana, Desmond Sigana and Craig French, Jr. Alternate pallbearers are Charles Hegstrom, Blair Holthusen and Matt Graves. His honorary pallbearers are Harold Donnell, Lyle "Laverne" Donnell, Henry Donnell, Sr., Herman Donnell, Orlyn Donnell, Peggy Young, Jeffrey Donnell, Jerry Bailey, Rebecca Groves, Willie Strong and Jeff Dahlen. Inurnment will be in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery at a later date.

Rusty's care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker. Online condolences for the family may be left at


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