Robert Russell

July 19, 1938-June 6, 2021

Robert Harlan Russell,

known to most as Harlan,

passed away peacefully

on June 6, 2021 in

Bismarck, ND. Mass of

Christian Burial will be

held 1 p.m. Wednesday,

June 16 at Cathedral of

the Holy Spirit, 519 Ray-

mond St, Bismarck.

Visitation will be held

from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday

at Eastgate Funeral Ser-

vice, 2302 E Divide Ave.,

Bismarck. A rosary will

begin at 7 p.m.

Harlan was born to

Robert and Norma (Col-

lins) Russell on July 19,

1938 in Minot, ND. Har-

lan married his high

school sweetheart,

Yvonne Mousseau, on

February 4, 1961. They

started their life together

in Minot. After the birth

of their three children,

they moved to California.

Ever the businessman,

Harlan managed a funeral

home in Santa Maria,

handled finances as a

stockbroker in Beverly

Hills and then settled into

the clothing business in

San Francisco. At this

point, Harlan, his wife,

Yvonne, and their three

children moved to Santa

Rosa, CA.

Harlan was larger than

life and loved being with

his family and friends.

Many summer weekends

were spent camping and

boating. Harlan enjoyed

his time on the water –

diving for abalone, setting

traps for crab and deep

sea diving the Channel Is-

lands. On winter week-

ends he could be found

skiing the mountain

slopes of Tahoe. Harlan

was an avid hunter; his

family enjoyed many

meals of venison and

duck. His children and

grandchildren will always

remember his love of

making chocolate banana

ice cream, teaching them

how to fish at Lake Meti-

goshe and letting them

each “drive” the pontoon


A true Irishman, Harlan

had the gift of gab and

made friends wherever he

went. He always had time

to stop and talk with

everyone. He easily filled

the room with his

enthusiastic and enter-

taining personality. He

knew the importance of

laughter and having a

good time.

Harlan also worked in-

credibly long hours build-

ing his business. Com-

muting from Santa Rosa

to San Francisco and

working six days a week

for years. He was known

for his very generous spir-

it, mentoring young adults

and helping them in their

own business ventures.

Harlan’s days always

started with a good cup of

coffee as he whipped

through the San Francisco

Chronicle’s daily cross-

word puzzle and Word


After retiring from the

clothing business in Cali-

fornia, Harlan and

Yvonne returned to North

Dakota, moving to

Bismarck. They enjoyed

their lake cabin at Lake

Metigoshe for many years

as well as time spent with

family and grandchildren

in Bismarck.

Faith was a cornerstone

of Harlan’s life and he

could be spotted daily at-

tending morning mass at

St. Eugene’s in Santa

Rosa, CA, and then at

Cathedral of the Holy

Spirit in Bismarck before

moving to Memory Care

at Touchmark.

Harlan is survived by:

his wife, Yvonne; chil-

dren, Sean (Coleen) and

Stacey (Gavin); grandchil-

dren; Megan, Robert,

Alyssa, Meredith, Nicole,

Olivia, Dominick,

Matthew, Sophia and

Ryan; sisters, Carol

Russell and Diane

(Jacque) Butz.

He was preceded in

death by: his parents and

his daughter, Sara Jane.

In lieu of flowers,

please donate to the

Alzheimer’s Association

in Harlan’s name or a

charity of your choice.

To share memories of

Harlan and to sign the on-

line guestbook, go to