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SPARTA — Russell A. Bernett, 90, of Sparta passed away peacefully Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Prince Creek, Monroe County, Dec. 31, 1927, to Andrew and Mabel (Adler) Bernett.

On July 1, 1950, Russell was united in marriage to Elvera (Tootie) Wegner at the Cataract Lutheran Church.

During Russell’s working years, he was employed by Arco, John Deere of Dubuque, Iowa, Mathy Construction, owned the former White Front Tavern of Sparta, and retired Dec. 31, 1987, from the Sparta School District as maintenance supervisor.

He was a faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Sparta, having served on various committees. He was a dedicated member of the Sparta Lions Club since 1968, never missing a meeting. He was very proud of receiving the Birch Strum Award and the Melvin Jones Fellow Award. Being an American Red Cross donor, he gave over 30 gallons. His last donation was June 12, 2018. He enjoyed retirement by traveling with his wife, Tootie, spending time at the family cabin in Hatfield, and fishing with his many friends and family. He loved auctions from which he has many, many treasures and rarely missed any of them in the area.

He is survived by his wife, Elvera (Tootie); daughter, Sheila (Milo) Abbott; sons, Steven (Judy) Bernett and Greg (Deborah) Bernett; grandchildren, Jodi Mutschler and Gretchen Abbott, Mackenzie and Morgan Bernett; great-grandchildren, Derek, Macie and Ethan Mutschler and Braeden Abbott; siblings, Keith Bernett and Gloria Cross. He is further survived by sisters and brothers-in-law, Joanne (Gene) Christenson, Jeanette (Dave) Dukleth and James (Carla) Wegner; and many nieces and nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws, Robert and Ruth Wegner; brothers, Duane, Garth (infancy) and Gale; sisters, Jeanne Cole and Yvonne Travis.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sparta, with the Reverend Mark Kvale officiating. Private family burial will be held at a later time in St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Cemetery, Sparta.

Family and friends are invited to call from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at Lanham Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, and from 10 a.m. until time of services Saturday at the church. A celebration of Russell’s life will continue at Jake’s Northwoods, Sparta, beginning at noon Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Sparta Lions Club, Trinity Lutheran Church, or SACS. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com. The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

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