RUDYARD/PHOENIX, Ariz. - Roger Russell Solum, 41, of Phoenix, Ariz., died Thursday, May 8, 2003, at a Phoenix hospital from complications from hepatitis and kidney failure.
A funeral service was held today in Phoenix. A local service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Calvary Evangelical Church in Rudyard with burial to follow at the Rudyard Cemetery.
Russ was born on April 4, 1962, to Orville and Mary Ellen (Patrick) Solum at Chester. He grew up on the family farm and received his education in Rudyard. He graduated from Rudyard High School in 1980. He continued his schooling at Concordia College in Morehead, Minn., where he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1984. To fulfill his ROTC obligations, Russ entered the U.S. Air Force. After completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, he was assigned to Williams Air Force Base near Phoenix. Because of his desire to pursue a nursing career, Russ left the Air Force and began working as a nurse's aide temp in the Phoenix area.
Russ met Jan Fuchs and married her in November of 1986. They returned to Morehead, Minn., where Russ continued his education. He earned a B.S. degree in nursing from Concordia College. They then returned to Phoenix where Russ worked as an intensive care nurse for several years. He enjoyed his work in health care and managed several hospice programs in the Phoenix area over the years. Russ and Jan had three children before their divorce.
Russ married Kimberly Lockett on Oct. 11, 2001, in Phoenix. For the past two years, he worked as a manager for an air conditioning and heating company in Phoenix. He also served as an alcoholism counselor in Phoenix for several years. He was diagnosed with hepatitis and pneumonia in February and required hospitalization and intensive care. He returned to work until his health failed just prior to his death.
Russ was a lifelong lover of music and played trumpet and piano in his youth. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. He was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed bowling. He always loved dogs and had one or more as pets throughout his life.
Although he maintained a private spirituality, Russ first accepted God into his life at the Good News Bible Club during his elementary years in Rudyard.
Russ was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents; maternal grandfather; and a cousin.
Survivors include his wife, Kim; stepson, Billy of Phoenix; children, Melodi, Kenneth and Timothy, all of Phoenix; parents, Orville and Mary Ellen Solum of Rudyard; brother, Ken (Renae) Solum of Kalispell, Ed (Sue) Solum of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and Phil (Lynda) Solum of Misswa, Minn.; maternal grandmother, Anna Patrick of Chester; and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Memorials may be made to Blue Sky High School Scholarship Fund or a donor's choice.