Russell Lee Chapek, 85

Published 10:19 am Monday, April 18, 2011

Russell Lee Chapek passed away on April 15, 2011, at St. Marks Nursing Home in Austin. He was born during the Great Depression on his family’s farm near Oakland, Minn. on Jan. 19, 1926, to Harry and Louina C. (Van Pelt) Chapek. His formative years were spent near Boone, Iowa, but he returned to the Austin area and finished his formal education at Austin Highs School. Russ joined the Navy and was stationed at Alameda, Calif., before going to Pearl Harbor and then to Midway Island where he was a Sea-Bee. One of the traits that remained with him his entire life was his pride in America.

Russel Chapek

In spite of an opportunity to stay overseas, his draw to the Austin area was Annette Mickelson. Upon returning he asked for her hand in marriage and they were wed in her hometown of Albert Lea on Jan. 2, 1949. Russell returned to the family farm and also began working at Hormel’s packing plant. They had four children and in 1960, he bought a farm near Elkton that his youngest son, Rod, and his grandson, Adam, now run.

Russell was passionate about farming, fishing, hunting, traveling, modifying equipment and telling stories. A farm accident in 1962 left him a hemi-pelagic, but he persevered and led a full and productive life. His family, his determination and his shear willpower were the foundation for his accomplishments. He was a member of the United Methodist Church, the VFW, and the MTPA. His family was the most important thing in his life.

Email newsletter signup

He was preceded in death by his father, Harry Chapek; mother, Louina Nasby; stepfather, John Nasby; brother, Darwin Chapek; and sister-in-law, Leanna Nasby.

Russell is survived by his wife, Annette Chapek, Austin; children, Anita Wendt (James Kvall) of Stewartville; Rebecca Chapek (Bill Myers) of Cordova, Alaska.; Russell W. (Cindy) Chapek of St. James, Minn.; Rodney (Diane) Chapek of Elkton, Minn.; grandchildren, Jason Wendt, Lynette (Nathan) de Cook, Melissa Johnson, Kalyn Simon, Sophia Myers, Corey (Stephanie) Chapek, Chrystal (Peter) Lindeman, Candice (Lucas) Bartel, Cassidy Chapek, Adam Chapek, Allison Chapek, Jacob Chapek; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Albert Nasby of North Bend, Ore.; cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday April 20, at Dexter United Methodist Church with the Rev. Karen Ashton officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Wednesday at the church for one hour before the service. Interment will be in the Dexter Cemetery. Russ was deeply loved by his family and will be dearly missed.