RAPID RIVER - Charles Russell "Russ" Simmons, 70, of 10025 U.65 Lane, Rapid River, passed away Wednesday Nov. 28, 2012 at the Christian Park Village in Escanaba.
Russ was born March 11, 1942 in Detroit, the son of Charles Napoleon and Ella Belle (Mowry) Simmons. He was raised in Romulus, Mich., where he was a 1959 graduate of Romulus High School. Following graduation Russ served his country in the U.S. Navy for three years before returning to the Detroit area.
Russ was employed with the I.B.M. Corporation for 30 plus years where he worked in Detroit and several communities in the U.P. before retiring from the Escanaba office. Following retirement, he enjoyed working for Meals on Wheels.
Charles Russell ‘Russ’ Simmons
Russ was instrumental in starting the Rapid River Volleyball program at Rapid River High School. He later became the coach of the Gladstone Varsity Volleyball Team where he coached from 2000-2005. He served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Volleyball Coaches Association. He loved following all local high school sports and enjoyed traveling downstate to watch them when they advanced in the playoffs.
Russ loved music, especially traditional and folk music. He was also an accomplished guitar player and singer. He also enjoyed his Canadian canoeing and fishing trips.
In addition to his wife, Linda Lavolette, survivors include: stepdaughter, Michelle Yates of Wilmington, N.C.; sisters, Sue (Grover) Kahl and Margie (Bart) Lindisch of the Detroit area; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Russ's family will receive friends on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Russ's family encourages friends to bring their musical instruments to participate in a "Musical Tribute" to Russ following the visitation. Memorial contributions in memory of Russ may be directed to the Gladstone Girls Athletics Program. Envelopes will be available at the Skradski Family Funeral Homes. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com, where you can express your sympathy to the Simmons family.