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Russell W. Paulson

May 7, 2020 | 14 comments

Russell W. Paulson, age 78, of La Crosse, WI, passed away on May 4th, 2020 at Mayo Clinic Health System. He was born in International Falls, MN and spent his childhood there until he graduated from Falls High School in 1959. He married Connie Johnson on January 5th, 1963. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Wisconsin and lived in several areas of the state throughout their lives. After being out of school for twenty years, he graduated with an Associates Degree in Mechanical Design in 1979.

Russell was a very caring person, always going out of his way to help others. He was also incredibly talented. Throughout his life, he remodeled homes, replaced car engines and even mastered the art of woodworking and stained glass. He made everything from napkin holders to beautiful cupboards and his stained glass was so remarkable that many customers would gladly wait up to six months to own a piece of his work.

He was a great bird watcher. He cultivated an interest in birds in his grandson at an early age. Nothing made him happier than going birding with his son and grandson. Later in life, Russell bought his Honda Gold Wing trike and things were never the same. He and Connie spent hundreds of hours on that trike while they explored the Midwest seeing some of the many wonders such as the World’s Largest Ball of Twine and of course the Spam Museum. He then discovered his love for covered bridges and soon they were crisscrossing the country to photograph the unique and beautiful structures. Nothing was better than sitting in a wet ditch at sunset, waiting for that perfect shot. All in all, he photographed well over a hundred bridges.

Russell was preceded in death by parents Jack and Hazel Paulson; brother, John Paulson; and daughter, Loni Paulson. He is survived by his wife, Connie; son, Lance (Sue) Paulson; their 3 children, Matt (Stephanie) Paulson, Cassie Bjorge and Megan Paulson; and four great grandchildren, Noah, Lydia, Sasha and Noelle.

We are so fortunate to have been loved by this kind and caring man.

The family will be holding a private memorial. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a beautiful bench in memory of Russell by visiting www.gofundme.com/russellpaulson.



  1. Lenny Clark

    So sad to hear of cousin Russells passing. It has been some time since i have seen him. It was at Uncle Jacks funeral. He was hard to keep track of. Again so sorry for your loss. Connie and Lenny Clark

    • Evelyn Gertrude Miller

      Hi Connie,
      Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your husband, Russell. I remember you from TOPS & recall that you had a good sense of humor. Russell sounded like a very remarkable man and husband. It sounds like you have had a lot of support from the community. I did reply on the gofundme site. As a bird watcher, I was pleased to see that Russell loved to watch birls & now will have a bench at his favorite birdwatching spot. Take care!!!! Eva Miller

  2. Timothy G Collins

    What a tragic loss. I was fortunate to meet Russ a few times. We camped together and had discussions about our similar interests in covered bridges and birding. I am sure that he and his family were looking forward to this springs migration. May he have a fallout of all the warblers in heaven’s outdoors. RIP Tim Collins

  3. Stephen Terpstra

    So sorry for the passing of Russel, sounds like a great grandfather. I have a grandson who loves birds, and that just is so wonderful. God bless you and your family.
    Stephen Terpstra

  4. Dennis Ross

    Lance and all,
    So very sorry to hear of your great loss. Barb and our family thinking of you.
    Molly and Stew retold of The GREAT Ghost in the Graveyard times. Seems like yesterday and then again years and years ago.
    Dennis Ross

    • Minda Chamberlain

      Lance, Sue and family;
      I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your father, grandfather, great grandfather. I now understand where Matt got his interest in birds. Such a great legacy. Praying for peace and beautiful memories for you.
      Minda, Mark and Matt

    • Nan

      I was sorry for your loss. Know that you are in my thought and prayers.

  5. Natalie Hartigan

    So sorry to learn of your father’s passing, Lance. You’re in my thoughts.

    • Robert Allen

      We are so sorry for your loss. We are thinking of you all. Bob & Laurel

  6. Joe and Kathy Zietlow

    Our deepest sympathy, Lance, Sue and Family!! Such a tragic loss of a beautiful person in this world! We are lifting up prayers for all of you, wrap your hearts and yourselves with his beautiful memories!! Affectionately, Joe and Kathy

  7. Corine Neuman

    Dear Lance, Sue, your mother, Connie, and your beautiful family,
    Ed and I are so sorry about your father’s death! The obituary is a beautiful tribute of his life. May you know we are thinking of you all at this sad time. Love and prayers, Ed and Corine Neuman

  8. Wayne Christenson

    I was sad to hear of cousin Russell’s passing. It has been some time since I have seen him (60 years). So sorry for your loss, I did this 3 years ago and still remember like it was yesterday. Wayne Christenson

  9. Tricia L Skrede

    My heart breaks for all of Russell’s loved ones. He was a wonderful man, and will be greatly missed! Much love and many prayers for you all.

  10. Jean Parker

    Dear Connie and family,
    I was so very sorry to hear of Russ’s passing. I always remember you and Russ fondly when you lived in Spooner and always hoped to see you again at the Hayward flea market. Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    Jean Parker


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