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Old 11-14-2007, 03:09 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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LtCol Russell Eugene Torgerson USMC (ret), 84, Ventura, CA

Russell Eugene Torgerson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend passed away Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007, after a long courageous battle with Parkinson's and kidney disease.

Born June 15, 1923, in Superior, Wis., to Henry M. and Jessie (Stein) Torgerson, Russell grew up in Minneapolis, Minn. He attended Longfellow Grade School, South High School and the University of Minnesota.

As a teenager, he learned to fly and in World War II he entered the Naval Aviatino Cadet Training Program, earning his Gold Wings. He then transferred to the Marines where, as a fighter pilot, he flew Corsairs into combat in the Marshall Islands and Okinawa. Later his squadron was recalled to the Korean Conflict. He continued to fly as a Weekend Warrior, flying Corsairs and then jets. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1983 as a lieutenant colonel.

Along the way he built and flew his own sailplane and also owned a private plane. For many years Russell and his wife, Alice, enjoyed flying together, locally and cross-country. He was privileged to give all his children and grandchildren rides in his airplane.

In his civilian career, Russ was an aeronautical engineer, working for Convair in San Diego for six years and for Northrop Corp., in Newbury Park and Hawthorne, Calif., for 24 years. He retired from Northrop in 1985 as a design group manager.

Russ served the Lord in several churches over the years as a Sunday school teacher, youth sponsor, choir member and usher. He and Alice had been active members of Ventura Missionary Church since 1975.

Russ leaves behind his devoted wife of 62 years, Alice; daughter, Karen Lagarde (husband John) of Houston, Texas; sons, Dave Torgerson (wife Kathy) of Gray, Tenn., and Jerry Torgerson (wife Dawn) of Chatsworth, Calif.; grandsons, David Torgerson (wife Brittany) of Johnson City, Tenn., and Blake Torgerson of Westlake Village; granddaughter, Tara Horton (husband Ross) of Austin, Texas, Dana Gray (husband Chris) of Thousand Oaks, Erika Howell (husband Jacob) of Westlake Village, Joanna Torgerson of Gray, Tenn.; brother, Harry Torgerson (wife Dorothy) of Great Falls, Mont.

Russ was dearly loved and respected by all his family and will be terribly missed. He was and is our quiet hero!

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at Ventura Missionary Church, Ventura. Burial will be private.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Charles Carroll Funeral Home, 15 Teloma Drive, Ventura, CA 93003; phone 805-642-8134.

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