Russell Sherburne

Obituary of Russell R Sherburne

We rejoice that kind, mischievous Russell Robbins Sherburne is himself once again. He’s back making silly puns, anonymously bestowing kindnesses, pulling pranks and most joyously, catching up on the lives of his beloved family and friends. Russ, age 76, passed away on April 28, 2020, at Clover Manor Health Care in Auburn, ME, after sustaining a fall. He was born on November 27, 1943 in Brunswick, Maine, to Dorothy Robbins Sherburne and Russell W. Sherburne. For nearly twenty years Russ lived with the person-robbing disease of Alzheimer’s, an illness that slowly destroys the brain. He was cared for at home many years by his wife Dale, receiving supplemental care the last three years from Lisa Scott and Carol McLeod. In 2016 he moved to a dementia care facility for nursing home care. Russ was foremost a family man, loving and placing his wife and children at the center of his life. He believed himself the luckiest man on earth. Although he kept his deepest emotions mostly unspoken, he showed his love through constant kind and thoughtful actions. Family memories of camp, horse shows, hockey games, school events, snowmobiling, trips to the Pacific Northwest, beloved pets, and later time with expanded family and precious grandchildren were the fundamentals of all that was important to him in life. The best moments, however, were those of just hanging together, feeling and appreciating the closeness and fortune of being a happy family. With Russ, however, was the expected unexpected. Despite being quiet and reserved, all who knew him waited for the notorious trick up his sleeve to appear. From placing a For Sale sign on a neighbor’s lawn while they were away, to a running gag of receiving the “prize” remnant from the church rummage sale, Russ emanated humor and joy in pulling his hallmark pranks. He was wry and witty and close attention was needed lest the clever joke be missed. He lived kindness, loved people, famously would do anything for anyone, and his most generous gestures will likely forever remain anonymous. His favorite place on earth was camp on remote Third Roach Pond, a family treasure and piece of nature’s heaven on earth. He remained sentimental of the childhood towns he lived in, including Port Arthur, TX, and Maine towns of Burkettville and Brunswick. He loved his hometown of Clinton and remained in touch with high school classmates who, when he was ill, rallied generous and continuous support as did friends from West Gardiner, ME. He graduated from Clinton High School in Clinton, ME, and received a Bachelor’s Degree and Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maine in Orono and later a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Thomas College. He was a registered Professional Engineer and a member of numerous engineering organization and honorary societies. His first job was delivering the Grit newspaper on bicycle, followed by working at Galusha’s country store. After graduating from college he worked at General Electric in Lynn, MA, for five years before returning to Maine for employment with Central Maine Power Company where he retired after twenty-five years. He was skilled at home repair and construction and led the church expansion effort at the United Methodist Church in Gardiner, ME. He is survived by Dale Sherburne, his wife of 52 years; daughters Holly Sherburne and husband Peter Cella of Harpswell, ME, and Heidi Sherburne and partner Darryl Stewart of West Gardiner, ME; grandchildren Callum Russell Stewart, Jack Stewart and Addison Stewart of West Gardiner, ME; sisters Carolyn Dien of Las Vegas, NV, and Priscilla Flanagan and husband Christopher of Venice, FL; nieces Jackie Koeller, Julie LeDoux, Kate Snyder, Julie Littlefield and Janet Littlefield and their families; nephews Donald Sherburne, Marc Dien and Michael Flanagan and their families; and “third daughter" Karen Herbaugh and family. Russell was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Gary Sherburne, all of Clinton, ME. Bravo, Russ! Yours was a life fully lived, infinitely loved, and forever to be missed. Anyone so wishing may make a donation in Russ’ honor to a charity of choice. Arrangements for a celebration of life will be announced at a future time. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.directcremationofmaine.com
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