Cover photo for Russell Lyle "Russ" Calahan's Obituary
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1931 Russell 2022

Russell Lyle "Russ" Calahan

January 10, 1931 — October 11, 2022

Russell Lyle “Russ” Calahan passed away on October 11, 2022, at St Luke Hospital in Ronan, Lake County, Montana, at the age of 91. He previously lived in Clatsop County, Oregon for 63 years. He was born January 10, 1931, in Burr Oak, Jewell County, Kansas to Charles Wesley Calahan and Bertha Naotha (Winslow) Calahan.

Russell graduated from Lebanon High School, Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon in 1949. He spent the summers working on ranches in Eastern Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in December 1950, serving in the Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in Radar Units on the mainland U.S. and in Alaska. He was honorably discharged in 1954. He worked for the Oregon State Highway Department for 30 years. One of his work projects was maintenance of the Astoria-Megler Bridge along with maintenance of other bridges and roads in Clatsop and Tillamook counties of Oregon.

Russell married Donna Lee Mann on December 26, 1953. Together, they raised four children on a small property between Cannon Beach and Seaside, Oregon. Russell built their family home. They also lived at Smith Lake in Warrenton and at the Cannery Lofts in Astoria. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing solitaire and cribbage, storytelling, and puzzle-ing.

The three loves of Russell’s life- animals, family, and friends. He nurtured those relationships all through his life! He was an “animal talker.” He loved his dogs- Dog and Wooly. He loved deer. He rescued many animals including a great horned owl and a family of orphaned pileated woodpeckers. He also loved birds, knowing their habits and calls. His most entertaining stories were about the animals he knew intimately. Russell loved and enjoyed visiting with friends and family around the family’s 100-year-old oak table. Everyone was welcome at their home!

Russell is survived by his wife, Donna, currently of Polson, Montana; and his children: Kathryn Welch and Cheryl Riley, Homer, Alaska; David (Terry) Calahan, Polson, Montana; and Michael (Sherry) Calahan, Salem, Oregon; two sisters-in-law, Sharon Calahan and Daylene (Paul) Mann Gourde; and 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, beloved nieces and nephews, and very close friends.

No services will be held at Russell’s request. Ashes will be scattered on the Columbia River under the Astoria-Megler Bridge at the Maritime Memorial Park in Astoria, Oregon.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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