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Russell J. Schams

January 29, 2021 | 24 comments

Russell J Schams 76, of La Crosse, Passed away peacefully on January 28 at Mayo Clinic in La Crosse.

Russ was born on May 6 1944 to Walter and Florence (Gerke) Schams.  He met Barbara (Stach) in the 8th grade and made her his wife on July 20, 1963.  Together they created a beautiful family; James (Amy) Schams and Rosalie (Rhys) Wolff, grandchildren Taylor, Nate (Megan), Austin, Dalton (Hannah), and Cameron, and great-grandchildren Noah, Owen, and Christopher, all of La Crosse.  He loved his family deeply and was deeply loved by each of them in return.

He was a hard worker his whole life; from growing up on a farm on Potato Ridge (County Hwy F, La Crosse) to owning and operating his own businesses for the majority of his life.  He owned Russ’s Mobile Home Service from the 1970s until changing his focus to transporting in 1997 when he started RJS Transports.  He enjoyed transporting mobile homes across the country; it not only satisfied his love for traveling but many times it gave him interesting adventures (he even pulled a mobile home over the ice roads of Canada) which in turn gave him many stories to share.  Although Russ’s expertise was manufactured housing, he was truly a jack of all trades!  He knew construction, mechanics, HVAC, electronics, plumbing, and so much more; when he wasn’t working you could find him busy in his shop, ‘toodling around the park’ or ‘playing’ in his garden.  However, on Fall/Winter Sunday afternoons you could find him watching the Green Bay Packers (if there wasn’t too much work to get done).  He will always be remembered for his chocolate chip cookies (big batches so there were plenty of cookies when everyone was done eating the raw dough) and his chocolate chip pancakes (so big that they would hang over the side of the plate)!  Russ was a no BS kind of guy, but he had a heart of gold and would do whatever he could to help someone out.

Russ is survived by his wife, family, and his brothers and sisters; Jerry (Luz), Ronald (Betty), Pat Schams, Butch (Carol), Tom (Sue), Denny (Lois), Theresa (Bob) Skaar, Joan (Ralph) Christ, Randy (Chris), Bernie, and Kathy Driscoll-Fransen, sister-in-law Connie Stach, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister; Phyllis (Kent) Taylor, and two brothers; Dwayne (Ester) and Dale (Sue). He was also preceded by his brother and sister-in-law’s; Margret (Pete) Loper, Kenny (Joan) Stach, Delores (Bud) Lemke, Theresa McHenry, Buddy (Florence) Stach, James Stach, and many nieces and nephews.

We would like to thank Aunt Loey for taking him to many of his doctor appointments, his nurses on the 7th floor, Dr. Stephanie Poll, and Dr. Heather.

In lieu of flowers please send memorials to his wife Barbara.

A Celebration Of Life will be held on Sunday July 25th from 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. at his shop W5499 County Road F.

He’s already greatly missed by his family; our superman has hung up his cape for a set of wings.



  1. Dawn

    I 1st learned of the chocolate pancakes from Russ, they were so GOOD! I’m so sad & sorry to hear of his passing. I have many memories with Rosie & Russ. We were never told when we are born, that we will lose our HERO, our Dads or our moms. But knowing the knowledge they gave, will live on for many years. Thoughts and prayers to all – Dawn

    • Ken McHenry

      I remember those kick ass pancakes! He was a good man and will be missed!

  2. Alan & Sheila Christ

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers.

  3. Mary Severson

    My thoughts and prayers to all of Russ’s family.

    • Tina Hernandez

      We are so sorry to find out about Russ passing. We did not know until today. Our prayers go out to all of his family. He was a very kind hearted man. May you rest in peace Russ.
      Jeff and Tina Edwards

  4. Charlyne Cripe

    My prayers are with you. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Natalie Jansen

    So sorry to hear about his passing. Barb, James and Rosie, my thoughts and Prayers are with you all.
    And I do remember them Chocolate Chip Pancakes 🤗😍.

  6. Marquez Trujillo

    Uncle Russ was one of the men who taught me alot about life and the value of a hard days work. He was a great man and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Love you anut barb

  7. Darlyne and Jerry Theisen

    Barb we are sorry for your loss. My Prayers are with you and your family.

  8. Roxanne Gerke Hicke

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all.

  9. Ralph Christ

    I worked for Russ several years as a young teenager. Nothing like crawling under a trailer with broken/frozen water and/or sewer pipes at 2am in the morning with 10 below zero temps. and horrible smells. Lots of memories. He also helped my wife Joan and I when we started our life together by renting us one of his trailers. Russ loved to work and to travel across the many roads. We will clearly miss Russ but will never forget him. May he Rest In Peace in heaven.

  10. Carol Kasparek

    Barbara and family, so sorry for your loss. He was a great person; always there to help others. Please know you will be in my prayers and thoughts.

  11. Butch & Mary Benson

    Barb and family so sorry to hear of Rusty’s death. We have been friends

    since we were teenagers. May he rest in peace. No more terrible pain.

  12. Stu & Char Scheel

    Rosie, Stu & I are so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Please know we are praying for Ur family. I guess the loss of a Mom or Dad is the hardest to handle. It is an ache that never goes away. Much Love coming Ur way…

  13. Doreen Averbeck

    Barb and family, thoughts and prayers 🙏 for you all. Miss seeing everyone. Love you

  14. Deb from the Y not the chef


    I miss our exercise sessions siting in the back row at the YMCA. I am the white hair Deb without any blue streaks.
    I am sorry for your loss. Slowly with the support of friends and family life will get back to “what ever is normal now”.
    Thinking of you with tender thoughts

  15. Ann Hundt

    Barb and family, so sorry to hear of Russ’s passing. It is too bad that the cousins never had the reunion they had all talked about. We all get older, and our children will never know who all of their relatives were. Russ was a good man and always able to lend a hand. Keep your memories, no one can ever take them away.
    Stan and Ann Hundt

  16. Steve and Shirley Ringdahl

    So sorry for your loss Barb, Jim and Rosie. We lived in the mobile home park for seven years and if we had any problems Russ was there to help. He was a great guy when we lived up there.

  17. Curtis

    You will be truly be missed and my condolences to the Schams family

  18. leroy lemke

    Best chocolate chip pancakes ever…RIP uncle Russ.

  19. Richard and Kathryn Schmitt

    Our deepest sympathy and condolences to you, Barb, and your family.

  20. Carole Rebhahn

    I am so sorry to hear of Russ passing away There are no words that can take away how you’re feeling. Just know that you and your family are in our prayers. I have so many memories of how close you and Russ were. Also so many other memories of all the fun we all had..Again I am so sorry. A forever friend, Carol ”Schmitt” Rebhahn

  21. Steven Stach

    Barb sorry for your loss. He was really a great guy. My thoughts are with you. Anything I can do let me know.

  22. Deb Wendorf Boyke

    So sorry to hear about Russ. I remember him as a kid when my Dad farmed on the ridge. Always a smile and a big heart.


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