Ronald W. Russell Sr., 81, died suddenly, surrounded by his family, April 2, 2010, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

Born in Rockland on Oct. 7, 1928, he was the son of George Sr. and Hannah Saunders Russell. Ronald was educated in Rockland schools.

Leaving high school early to enlist in the U.S. Army, Ron served during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged early to return home and care for his father and the family farm.

Over the years Ron was employed in a variety of positions in order to care for his family. At one point he worked with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockland Fire Department, and was a truck driver and a fish cutter.

In the 1950s, Ron married Pauline Triani in Rockland. Together they raised four children. Following their separation, the majority of his career was spent as a millwright where he traveled to mills throughout Maine repairing the workings there.

On May 9, 1969, Ronald married Carolyn Ann Dennison in Hope. The couple has resided on the family farm in Hope their entire married life. Ron and Carolyn raised their youngest son, William, on this farm.

Following his retirement, Ron enjoyed dealing in antiques. He was also an accomplished woodworker. His family remembered the large Indian he carved that once served as a landmark and directional signal in Hope. They said he had carved pieces of art for each of them. At one point he enjoyed furniture making, and built the home his family still lives in today. His son remembered the time they spent together building his post and beam home. They said he had a gift for woodworking and could build anything he saw.

Ron had a great since of humor, and will be remembered as a great storyteller. His stories were never told the same way twice, and one could never be sure what to believe. He also enjoyed gardening and always had a garden going whatever season it was. He usually gave away whatever he grew.

Ronald was predeceased by three sisters, Beverly Russell, Dot Yeaton and Louise Irving; and a brother, George Russell.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Russell of Hope; his sons, Ronald Russell Jr. and his wife, Karen, of South Thomaston and William Russell of Hope; his daughters, Linda Seelye and Phyllis Russell, both of Rockland; a stepson, Bernard Kuhn of Florida; a sister, Zilda Kaler of Camden; six grandchildren, Brianne, Jenna, Natalie, Chelsey, Magen and Clayton; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to visit Wednesday, April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. A celebration of Ronald’s life will be held Thursday, April 8 at 1 p.m. at Grace Bible Fellowship, 30 Sherer Lane in Rockland. The Rev. Mike Ferland will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Department of Veterans Affairs, Attn: Voluntary Services, 1 VA Center, Augusta, ME 04330.

To sign Ronald’s online guest book, visit bchfh.com.