Russell James “Russ” Fish, 76, died Thursday, July 23, 2020, at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport, after a courageous health battle.

He was born Feb. 29, 1944, and raised in Rockland to Arthur “Lew” and Christina Fish. After attending local schools and graduating from Rockland High School in 1962, Russell joined his father in the family paving and contracting business.

Russell continued to build the family business after his father’s passing for the remaining days of his life. Russell always said he was happiest when he was working, which was evident in the dedication he put into every job that he took on. He was always willing to help someone despite the circumstances.

Russell was known as a loving father to his children, grandchildren, great-granddaughter and partner. Russell was also a dedicated and loving friend to anyone he met.

He was part of the morning Coffee Crew starting years ago at the Wayfarer East Motel until it’s closing, then moving to the Brass Compass. The afternoons were always spent at McDonald’s with friends surrounding him, trying to outdo each other’s fish tales.

He loved it when his grandchildren and great-granddaughter came to visit him at McDonald’s to share an ice cream cone or Happy Meal. Russell could turn anyone’s trash into his treasure. There wasn’t a lawn sale he passed by, or a flea market he didn’t like to wander through, often dragging his best friend John Wood to parts unknown for a “good find” he located in Uncle Henry’s.

He taught his children that “if it’s free it’s for me” was a family motto, often taking his grandchildren to the dump to find “treasures.”

Russell took incredible joy and pride in the organizations that he was a part of. Many evenings he was meeting with his fellow brothers working on projects to help others.

He spent many April vacations chaperoning local children to the Shrine Circus and made sure that every child had the same fun experience. Russell also participated in many local parades as the “Unofficial Grand Marshall,” greeting everyone with his sparkling blue eyes, smile and his trademark handle-bar mustache. He also loved taking vacations with Emily whether they were cruising or enjoying the Las Vegas strip.

Russell was a lifelong member of the Rockland Lodge of Elks #1008, Order of the Eastern Star Grace Chapter #93, Midcoast Shrine Club, Waldo County Shrine, Aurora Lodge #50, Knox Lodge #0189, Kora Shrine of Lewiston, Royal Order of the Jester, Order of Quetzalcoatl #59, Scottish Rite and the Kora Flag Unit.

Other than his parents, Russell was pre-deceased by his brothers Erkie and Stan and his sister, Dot.

He is survived by his loving partner Emily Vanorse; children Heidi Cummings and her husband, Gump, Christopher Fish and his wife, Pam, Kali Martin and her husband, Dean, Libby Davis, and Ian Fish; grandchildren Madison Grace Cummings and her partner, Phillip Davis, Gunnar Cummings, Cody Fish and his partner, Kimberly Young, Chelsea Fish, Caleb Fish and his wife, Ashleigh, Cameron Martin, Khloe and Alden Davis and Whyett Dinapoli as well as his first great-grandchild Katie Mae Davis; brothers Donnie Fish, Arthur Fish and his wife, Kris, Leslie Fish and his wife Krissy; sisters Margaret Tilley, Agnes MacWilliams and her husband, Bob, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A time of walk-through viewing will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. Social distancing and wearing of face covering is suggested.

An outdoor celebration of Russell’s full and adventurous life will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday July 30, at the Rockland Lodge of Elks ball field, 210 Rankin St. It is suggested that attendees bring their own portable seating. Social distancing is suggested.

Memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital, Donation Department, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104.

To share a memory or story with Russel’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at