Russell Fish

Russell James Fish

February 29, 1944 - July 23, 2020
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ROCKLAND - Russell James “Russ” Fish, 76, died Thursday July 23, 2020 at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport, after a courageous health battle. Born on February 29, 1944 and raised in Rockland, he was the son of Arthur “Lew” and Christina Fish. After attending local schools and graduating from Rockland High School in 1962, Russell joined his Father Lew in the family paving and contracting business. Russell continued to build the family business after his Father’s passing for the remaining days of his life. Russell always said he was happiest when he was working, which was evident in the dedication he put into every job that he took on. He was always willing to help someone despite the circumstances.

Russell was known as a loving Father to his children, grandchildren, great-granddaughter, and partner. Russell was also a dedicated and loving friend to anyone he met. He was part of the morning Coffee Crew starting years ago at the Wayfarer East Motel, until it’s closing, then moving to the Brass Compass. The afternoons were always spent at McDonald’s with friends surrounding him, trying to outdo each other’s fish tales. He loved it when his grandchildren and great-granddaughter came to visit him at McDonald’s to share an ice cream cone or Happy Meal. Russell could turn anyone’s trash into his treasure. There wasn’t a lawn sale he passed by, or a flea market he didn’t like to wander through, often dragging his best friend John Wood to parts unknown for a “good find” he had located in Uncle Henry’s. He taught his children that “if it’s free it’s for me” was a family motto, often taking his grandchildren to the dump to find “treasures.”

Russell took incredible joy and pride in the organizations that he was a part of. Many evenings he was meeting with his fellow Brothers working on projects to help others. He spent many an April vacation chaperoning local children to the Shrine Circus and made sure that every child had the same fun experience. Russell also participated in many local parades as the “Unofficial Grand Marshall,” greeting everyone with his sparkling blue eyes, smile, and his trademark handle-bar moustache. He also loved taking vacations with Emily whether they were cruising or enjoying the Las Vegas strip.

Russell was a lifelong member of the Rockland Lodge of Elks #1008, Order of the Eastern Star Grace Chapter #93, Midcoast Shrine Club, Waldo County Shrine, Aurora Lodge #50, Knox Lodge #0189, Kora Shrine of Lewiston, Royal Order of the Jester, Order of Quetzalcoatl #59, Scottish Rite, and the Kora Flag Unit.

Other than his parents, Russell was pre-deceased by his brothers Erkie and Stan and sister Dot. He is survived by his loving partner Emily Vanorse, his children Heidi Cummings and her husband Gump, Christopher Fish and his wife Pam, Kali Martin and her husband Dean, Libby Davis, and Ian Fish; his grandchildren Madison Grace Cummings and her partner Phillip Davis, Gunnar Cummings, Cody Fish and his partner Kimberly Young, Chelsea Fish, Caleb Fish and his wife Ashleigh, Cameron Martin, Khloe and Alden Davis and Whyett Dinapoli as well as his first great-grandchild Katie Mae Davis; brothers Donnie Fish, Arthur Fish and his wife Kris, Leslie Fish and his wife Krissy; sisters Margaret Tilley, Agnes MacWilliams and her Husband Bob, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A time of walk-through viewing will be held from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. Social distancing and wearing of face covering is suggested.

An outdoor celebration of Russell’s full and adventurous life will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday July 30, 2020, at the Rockland Lodge of Elks ball field, 210 Rankin Street. It is suggested that attendees bring their own portable seating. Social distancing is suggested.

Memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital, Donation Department, 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA, 01104.

To share a memory or story with Russel’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday July 29, 2020 | 5:30pm - 7:00pm
    Wednesday July 29, 2020 5:30pm - 7:00pm
    Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home
    110 Limerock Street
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    This will be a time of walk-through viewing, giving individual opportunity for brief paying of respects.
  • Outdoor Celebration of Life

    Rockland Elks Club Ball Field
    210 Rankin Street
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Social distancing and face masks are encouraged. It is suggested that attendees bring their own portable seating.
    Officers & Members of Aurora Lodge No. 50, Rockland
    Pastor Douglas Anderson
  • Interment

    Thursday July 30, 2020 |
    Thursday July 30, 2020
    Achorn Cemetery
    Old County Road
    Rockland, ME 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Lee Marshall

Posted at 10:26am
I was saddened to hear that Russell had passed. Russell always made me feel welcomed and appreciated. He was one of the nicest people I have met and he no longer has to struggle. He was such a hard worker and had a wonderful attitude towards life and all of its challenges. I will miss his gruff, yet friendly voice. I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Russell. It was a true pleasure to have known him.

Lee D. Marshall

Charles Bonney

Posted at 10:45pm
Very sorry to learn of Russ Fish’s passing. He was one of the nicest, hard working, upbeat and friendliest men I’ve had the pleasure to know. I knew Russ through Jesters and Shriners, where he was extremely active over the years. We have lost a good man and friend.

Charley Bonney
Wayne, ME

Captain Dave Sulin

Posted at 06:25pm
As those of us lucky enough to have known Russ well know, he never met a stranger. Your day was always better after you had traded a few words with Russ Fish. Russ is one of the people who actually made Rockland great, not by telling you how to live your life or by coming up with some hairbrainded scheme like so many of Rockland's politicians do. No, Russ made Rockland great by being a true loyal son of the city who treated every single person that crossed his path with respect and kindness. He was a great listener and he was interested in what you had to say. He was and example of kindness and decency. The twinkle in his eyes and the warm genuine smile behind the mustache where indications of what was in his heart. His longtime dedication to the Shriners and their many wonderful programs for children was a perfect example of his outsized heart and his generosity toward others. For me, and I am sure many of you who read this, parades just won't be the same anymore without Russ. Rest in peace Russ, the rest of us have a big job in following the examples of decency and kindness that you have left us.
Captain Dave Sulin

Charles Bonney

Posted at 01:45pm
Very sorry to learn that Russ is no longer with us. They don’t come any nicer than Russ. I knew Russ through Shriners and Jesters, where he had been extremely active over the years. It was always a pleasure to see and talk with him. The world has lost a really good man and Shriner.

Charley Bonney
Wayne, ME

Sharon Teel

Posted at 09:27am
Sending condolences to Russell's family. Russell and I have been friends since we started our teen years. When we would see each other over the years, we would always have a few words to exchange, weather it was around town or when he was riding in the Lobster Festival Parade with the Shriners, I would always give a holler to him. Rest In Peace my friend.

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