Garrison Roy Russell passed away with his wife by his side on June 17, 2012 in Spokane at the age of 58.
Garrison was born on July 9, 1953 in Denver, CO, the son of Thomas Ferris and Nola (Wiedmann) Russell.
He was raised in Van Nuys, CA where he attended school. On his sixteenth birthday, Garrison received his pilotâ€™s license, driverâ€™s license and motorcycle endorsement. He continued flyÂ¬ing while in high school and graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1971.
Garrison went on to attend USC and UCLA while teaching aviation ground school and advancing his flight ratings. He earned his Certified Flight Instructor and Certified Flight InÂ¬strument Instructor ratings and began teaching stuÂ¬dent pilots and taking charter flights while working for an FBO at Van NuysAirport.
In 1975, he moved to the Cedar Creek area north of Colville and ran several businesses, including flight instructing, flying for the U.S. Forest Service and operating the Colville Airport fixed base operations with his father, Tom Russell, while imÂ¬mersing himself in the study of the Bible.
On May 28, 1977, Garrison married Alexandria â€śZandyâ€ť KeyÂ¬ser at Cedar Creek. While living here, Garrison became an AirÂ¬line Transport Pilot and was active in Washington Pilotsâ€™ AssoÂ¬ciation. During this time, his children, Wonder (1979) and Levi (1981) were born at Mount Carmel Hospital. They resided in the Colville area until 1985, when Garrison moved his family to AnÂ¬chorage, AK after becoming an Air Traffic Controller with the FAA. He then transferred to the Flight Standards District Office as a Principal Operations Inspector, and soon after transferred to the FAA Regional Office as a Regional Specialist.
In 1990, Garrison received a call to fly for MARKAIR airline. He served as captain, flying Boeing 737â€™s throughout rural Alaska and across the United States until MARKAIR ceased opÂ¬erations.
Garrison then returned to Cedar Creek with his famÂ¬ily, and for the next three years embraced the opportunity to write his book,â€śSonPlacing."
In 1996 when the book was compete, Garrison resumed his passion for flying and aviation and moved to Juneau, AK where he became a Supervisor of Operation Inspectors. Then it on to Montreal, Canada, and Bangkok, Thailand for 2 1/2 years working for ICAO, the UN agency responsible for aviation stanÂ¬dards worldwide, before settling in Spokane after returning to the FAA.
After a year at the Spokane FSDO as an Operations Inspector, Garrison accepted a position as the International Training ProÂ¬gram Manager for the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, OK as their first remote sited employee.
Garrison was able to work abroad when needed and also stay near his family in the SpoÂ¬kane and Colville area. Garrisonâ€™s work brought extensive travel, as over the years he visited nearly every corner of the globe delivering much-needed training and expertise to Civil Aviation Authorities around the world. Garrisonâ€™s contributions to aviation safety include training and procedures that are beÂ¬coming the standard worldwide.
Garrison's most treasured times were spent with family, aunties, uncles and cousins, and enjoying the many internaÂ¬tional, Alaskan and stateside travel adventures they shared. He was a very gifted teacher and was often recognized for his exÂ¬ceptional intellect and creativity.
Above all else, he had a great love and passion for his HeavÂ¬enly Father and pursued the study of the Bible and the sharing of his faith. His book "SonPlacing" has been a great blessing to thousands.
Garrison was preceded in death by his father, Thomas and by a sister, Valerie Byrd.
He is remembered with great love and admiration by his wife, Alexandria â€śZandyâ€ť Russell; daughter, Wonder Russell; son, Levi Russell (wife, Laura); mother and step-father, Mert and Nola Russell Wiedmann; sister and brother-in-law, Heidi and Bruce Johnson; brother-in-law, Vernon Byrd; and nephews, Matthew and Andrew Byrd, and dozens of beloved relatives and cousins.
A memorial for Garrison R. Russell will begin at 3 p.m., SatÂ¬urday, July 14 at â€śOur Placeâ€ť at the Ark in Cedar Creek.
Memorial contributions may be given to â€śOur Placeâ€ť, 3912 Cedar Creek Road, Colville, WA 99114.
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangement.