Russel E. Wooden

Russel E. Wooden

June 24, 1928-March 27, 2016 

Former Homer and Fairbanks resident Russel E. Wooden, 87, of Green Valley, Ariz., died at La Hacienda nursing home at La Posada in the wee hours of Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, of heart failure.

Russel was born in Onalaska, Wisc., the son of Everett and Mae Wooden, on June 24, 1928. Upon completion of high school, Russel joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fairbanks, assigned to the Alaska Communications Service (ACS). Due to lack of housing, he was allowed to live off-post and boarded with the Charlie and Gladys Chase family on the Steese Highway.

A life-long friendship was formed and he lived with them until he married Frances H. Tweedy in 1959. The Chase’s son, Howard Mackey, needed a building to start his business, which grew from grocery store and gas station to a Nash car agency, and finally became the M & O Auto Parts and Machine Shop that was very successful. After 42 years of working through each expansion and finally owning the company, Russ retired and he and Frances moved to Homer, Alaska in 1992. He became very active in the Homer United Methodist Church, and served on the board of trustees. As a member of the Pioneers of Alaska, he was reluctant to leave the state, but by following their children, he and Frances moved to Green Valley in 2005.

 Russ was a skilled woodworker as well as mechanic, and made many pieces of beautiful furniture for the family. Because he was a Jack-of-all trades, he always answered a call for help; such was his generous nature.

Russ is survived by his wife of 57 years, Frances, and her children, Ellen West (George) and John Wooden, both of Green Valley; Valerie Holbo (Richard) of Ashland, Ore.; brother-in-law Clifton Tweedy (Delesta); and grandson, Levi Nilsson (Annie), both of Anchorage, Alaska. He has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, also many cousins and nephews in Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, send memorial gifts to Green Valley Community Church Endowment Fund/Scholarship, 300 West Esperanza Blvd., Green Valley, Arizona 85614.