Russell F. Crumrine, 92, LaFontaine, died Feb. 11, at 12:25 a.m. at Select Specialties Acute Care Hospital, Fort Wayne. Russell was born on June 25, 1921, in LaFontaine, to Noah Frank Crumrine and Bertha (Pulley) Crumrine.
Russell graduated from LaFontaine High School in 1939 and married Louise Ricks on Feb. 7, 1942. At the end of World War II, Russell and Louise returned to LaFontaine to join his father and uncle at the Crumrine Brothers Garage/Chevrolet Dealership located in downtown LaFontaine. He worked and then owned and operated the Crumrine Garage for over 50 years.
Russell was a very creative and talented auto mechanic who had adventurous hobbies. In the early 1950s, he designed, engineered, built, and campaigned the first rear engine powered sprint racecar in the Midwest. In the 1960s, he became interested in scuba diving. He was a certified scuba diver who dived in many local stone quarries/gravel pits/lakes and also spent vacations in Florida exploring fresh water caves, reef life and Spanish galleon wrecks off the Florida Keys. In the mid 60s, Russell decided to design and build his own version of a two passenger Ferrari coupe from a 1950 four door Chevrolet Areo-Sedan. Within two years he had his “custom” on the road. He and his beloved wife, Louise, traveled to car shows all over the United States during the summers of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, winning hundreds of awards with his Custom, which he continued to modify and improve over those 30 plus years. Russ prided himself in being the “oldest hot rodder.”
Russell is survived by his daughter, Carol Williams (Steve) Peru; his granddaughter Kristina Williams, LaFontaine; grandson, Brian Williams, Tucson, Ariz.; nephews, Robert (Susie) Goodpasture, and James (Stella) Goodpasture, LaFontaine; and a very special friend, Dortha Baird, Marion.
Preceding Russell in death were his parents, his wife of 57 years, Louise, his sister, Mary Goodpasture, LaFontaine, and his brother,Harold Crumrine, Denver, Colo. Also his brother-in law, Richard Goodpasture recently passed away.
Funeral services were held Feb. 14 at McDonald Funeral Home, LaFontaine Chapel with Pastor Brad Wright officiating. Burial followed in the LaFontaine IOOF Cemetery. Pallbeares included Steve Williams, Kristina Williams, Brian Williams, Bob Goodpasture, Jim Goodpasture, Richard Piper and Shane Wissler.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.mcdonaldfunerals.com.