If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and again, and again; because as everyone knows, it’s third time lucky. Our world got really lucky when Russell Douglas Toombs was born; the third of four boys to Doug and Alice on April 24th, 1953 in Kamloops, B.C.
Russ passed away on October 9th, 2021 in Kelowna General Hospital after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Sorrento, BC.
Survived by: wife Athena; son Aaron Toombs (Kristen) and grandchildren Raina, Eden & Callum; daughter Alicyn (Carlo Pechuanco) and grandchildren Avery & Carmen. Russ is also survived by his first wife and mother of his children, Audrey Lynn Baier (Ted). Brothers Phil (Dot), Ray (Linda) and Larry (Deborah) share special memories with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a multitude of “borrowed children“.
Russ was a wonderful, loving man with a HUGE heart, who had a big capacity for love that he shared with everyone; especially Athena. Through their years together they never forgot to include the words “love you as big as the sky” in their notes and cards to each other.
He was incredibly proud of his children and their spouses and he loved them and his grandchildren deeply; always looking forward to any time that was spent with them in any capacity.
Russ was always larger than life, with a tender spirit and arms that could gently crush you with love. In a fictional world he would have been Grizzly Adams, Gentle Ben or Hoss on Bonanza. Those images come to mind because he was equally at home in the wild on his annual hunting or fishing trips with his “boys”, as he was in the kitchen, trying new recipes for Athena and then sharing them with numerous family and friends in their always welcoming home. His life at the lake was his ultimate joy and he was never happier than when he was at the helm of the Happy Day Tripper.
Russ left us too soon, but, true to his generous heart, he chose to give life to others as an organ donor. Truly a fitting legacy for a great man and a full life, well lived.
That life included 28 years as a correctional officer. Early retirement was followed by several years in hospital security and casino surveillance while Russ waited for Athena to retire. By the end of 2020, this was achieved and both were ready to embark on the next phase of their life together.
Life is a journey, not a destination. For those of us who shared Russ’s all too short journey for 68 years, we will now travel his memory train together; first class all the way!
There will be no celebration of life at the present time, due to Covid restrictions.
Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be something Russ would appreciate.Print This Obituary & Condolences