Russell Sandstrom

Friday, February 8, 2013

Our beloved father, husband and grandfather, Russell Ivan Sandstrom, 92, longtime resident of Glenns Ferry, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Pocatello.

A service will held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Grace Episcopal Church in Glenns Ferry. Inurnment will be held at a later date at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery in Boise. Arrangements are under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.

Russell was born Dec. 10, 1920, in Superior, Wisc., to Ivan and Eleanor (Heyer) Sandstrom.

He graduated from Central High in 1938 and worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps for two years.

He joined the Army Air Corps in 1940.

He married his lifelong sweetheart, Joyce Oesterreich, on Nov. 28, 1943.

During WWII he served with the First Air Commandos -- Flying Tigers in Burma. Following WWII, he completed his engineering degree from the Montana School of Mines.

He was recalled into the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and remained in active service until he retired 1974.

Besides assignments in the U.S. (Minnesota, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Idaho), he also served tours in England, Germany, Ecuador and Brazil. He was stationed in Thailand with the Air America campaign during the Vietnam War. His final duty tour was to Mountain Home Air Force Base in 1972.

After a distinguished career serving his country, Russell and Joyce settled in their home on the Snake River in Glenns Ferry.

Besides being a dedicated husband and parent, Russell loved watching wildlife, music, fishing, history, reading, crossword puzzles and travel. He was a generous donor to many local charities, service and civic organizations and numerous educational scholarships.

He was a member of Fidelity #80 Masonic Lodge; Scottish Rite Temple of Duluth, MN; AAD Temple of the Shrine and Glenns Ferry Post #3646 of the VFW.

He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Glenns Ferry.

Russell will be fondly remembered for his dedication to family, friends and community, as well as his humility, intellect, and wry sense of humor.

He collected impressive quantities of potatoes from local farmers to give to friends and the Senior Center.

Russell is survived by his three children: Katherine Venemon and husband Robert of Pocatello; Russell Sandstrom and wife Patricia of Juneau, Alaska; and Heidi Schwartz and husband Shannon of Woods Cross, Utah. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Camille and Justin Venemon, Shandi and Wyatt Schwartz, and Corrine Frost.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Joyce, and his step-brother Kenny.

Memorials and donations may be made in his name to Grace Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 786, Glenns Ferry, ID 83623, The Three Island Senior Center, P.O. Box 263, Glenns Ferry, ID 83623 or The Shriners Hospital, Fairfax Road at Virginia Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103.