Russ was born on July 23, 1955 in Virginia, MN to Albert Russell and Beverly Bernice Ditman. In 1968, his family moved to the community of Morgan Park in Duluth, where he built lifelong friendships.
Russ graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1973. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota - Duluth, with a degree in history. Throughout his life, Russ was very involved in sports. He impacted many lives through the friendships he built and the teams he was a part of.
Russ was the loving father to Jeff and Ryan and was always their biggest fan. Supporting them in sports as they grew up was one of his greatest joys. As adults, they continued to be his greatest sources of pride.
Russ met the love of his life, Diane Bloomquist, in 2002. Through their years together, they built a wonderful life full of love. He was a father to Diane’s children, Kari and Drew. Together with Jeff and Ryan, they all became a family.
Russ was passionate about sports and lifelong knowledge. You could often find him mastering a crossword puzzle, and devoutly following Minnesota teams. Perhaps the only thing he was more passionate about was his family. Along with endless encouragement, you could always count on Russ for an obscure sports fact and a perfectly timed joke.
Russ is survived by his love, Diane; children Jeff (Denise) Ditman and Ryan (Amanda Farris) Ditman, Kari (Chris Harwood) Bloomquist and Drew (Rachel Ritter) Bloomquist; grandchildren, Jonathan and Dominick. He is also survived by his sister, Kathy (Kevin) Heaslip, many loving nieces, nephews and other family members, and friends who were like family.
Heaven has gained the kindest, most encouraging, and supportive angel. We will miss the laughter he brought, his chocolate chip cookies, and his love.
Our family would like to deeply thank Essentia West Duluth and Oncology, as well as St. Mary’s Hospital and Hospice for all they have done for Russ over this year.
Visitation: 10 AM until the 11 AM Memorial Service Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at Bell Brothers Funeral Home, 601 N. 56th Ave. W., Duluth.