Russell Olger

Obituary of Russell Dean Olger

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Russell Dean Olger was born in Haslett, Michigan on September 21, 1953. He was one of seven children born to Ralph and Charlene (Johnson) Olger. Russ graduated from Laingsburg High School in Laingsburg, Michigan as the Class of 1970 Valedictorian. He proudly served his country in the United States Air Force.

After nearly a quarter century as a couple, Russell and his longtime girlfriend Sallee Johnson surprised their families with an impromptu wedding ceremony during Thanksgiving dinner in 2015. He was employed as an installer for Dows Equipment in Romulus, Michigan for nearly fifteen years. 

Russell was very intelligent and had the ability to absorb and retain information easily. He played along with Jeopardy and seemed to know all the answers. Although he was a homebody, Russ volunteered to run all the household errands including grocery shopping. Sallee always sent him with a list, but Russ would inevitably call with questions to be sure he was purchasing just the right items.   The couple cultivated a vegetable garden each year and then canned the harvest.   A great sous chef, Russ liked to assist in the kitchen. However, if the menu were up to Russ, a block of cheese and a sleeve of crackers was more than sufficient for every meal.

Russ had a soft and gentle nature, but he kept it hidden behind his rugged exterior. He was concerned with caring for the environment and was extremely knowledgeable about ecosystems. He enjoyed ice fishing on Lake Erie and in Michigan’s upper peninsula with his brothers.

Russ watched the movie “The Lord of the Rings” series repeatedly. A fan of Westerns and novelist Louis L’Amour, Russ was known as “Cowboy”. However, if he were particularly ornery and opinionated on any given day Russ would be called “Caveman”.

Russell Dean Olger, age 68, of Monroe, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital on Saturday; August 20, 2022. His passing was preceded by his parents; a brother: Ralph Olger; and his mother-in-law: Betty Johnson.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife of seven years: Sallee Olger; a son: Brandon Olger; a stepson: Jason McBee; a stepdaughter: Ona (Kenneth) Canupp; several grandchildren including Dawson and Jada McBee; three sisters: Mary (Rick) Myers, Marilyn (Kathy Madden) Olger, and Marlene (Heather) Olger; two brothers: Stewart (Laura) Olger and Steve (Connie) Olger; many nieces and nephews; and close friends and neighbors.                    

Friends may gather to Celebrate Russell’s Life on Sunday, August 28, 2022 from 1:00 to 4:00pm at Detroit Beach Boat Club; 3028 Harborview Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162. A Memorial Service with military honors will take place on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 2:00pm at the Bath American Legion 5480 Clark Road, Bath Township, Michigan 48808. Russell’s care has been entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. Cremation has taken place through Covenant Cremation of Erie, Michigan.

Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.

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Sunday
28
August

Gathering to Celebrate the Life of Russell Olger

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, August 28, 2022
Detroit Beach Boat Club
3028 Harborview Street
Monroe, Michigan, United States
Visitation
Sunday
18
September

Memorial Service and Military Honors for Russell Olger

2:00 pm
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Bath American Legion
5480 Clark Road
Bath Twp., Michigan, United States
Service