Russell Van Aken passed away peacefully on February 19, 2023, at his home in Conesville, with his niece Heidi by his side.
Born 93 years ago on January 2, 1930, Russell was an extremely good-natured soul who greeted everyone with a smile, a story and loved to laugh. He wanted to learn about everything new to him and would pry a story or information out of you and sometimes even take notes about the experience. Russell's friends were countless and his foes were few. He lived a modest life in a small cabin but was never lonely one single day of his life. He enjoyed a good trade and used the barter system more than most. He also loved to use the word "tasty" to describe a vintage car or truck and was an excellent mechanic.
Russell was a US Army veteran, who trained as a sniper and later progressed to being an instructor at sniper school. He was also a heavy equipment repair specialist for the US Army Corps of Engineers. After his service, Russell returned to Conesville where he cut and sold firewood for his business, Mountain Fuel. Russell also sold used car parts out of his junkyard and he surely was the most valuable antique on the property.
He loved his guns was an excellent hunter, woodsman, marksman and spent a lot of time outdoors. He loved mother nature and she loved him right back.
Russell never married nor had children, but was adored by all his family and friends. The man was surely one in a million and will be severely missed by all that knew him. Russell is survived by three sisters: Rose Peaslee, Elizabeth Ledda, and Elanore Thompson; niece: Heidi Van Aken and great-niece: Amelia; nieces and nephews: Scott Van Aken, Randy Cole (Pat), Rodney Cole (Ingrid), Del Cole (Donna), Jeffrey Ledda (Heidi), Edward Ledda (Denise), Sandra Ledda, Felicia Ledda, Jeanette Carayol (Moses), Rosemary Cummings (Kevin), Kindy Peaslee, Bill Peaslee, Andrew Peaslee (Jill), Vicki Cammer (Chris). Russell was predeceased by his parents: Frederick and Elizabeth Van Aken; brothers: Arthur and Douglas Van Aken; sister: Freda Carrington; niece: Virginia Van Aken
A Memorial service will be held at 1:00PM on Sunday, March 5, 2023 at Coltrain Funeral Home, 134 River Street, Middleburgh, NY with Pastor Dottie Morris officiating. Visitation with Russell’s family will be from 12-1:00PM, prior to the service.
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