Russell Bowcutt was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to William and Rachel Wybrow Bowcutt. Russ’ mom died when he was just a toddler, and he and his brothers, Bill and Duane, traveled with his dad in a worn out car and hand-built camping trailer during the Great Depression, going anywhere a carpenter could find work. It wasn’t long before Russ and his three brothers were orphaned, and left in the care of their Aunt Lizzy. The three boys raised each other, headed up by the oldest brother Bill, and were a little rough around the edges.
Russ attended Jefferson Elementary, Lincoln Junior High, and South High School. He met Trudy when they were just children in elementary school, but he was unable to finish school because his family needed him to work. What he lacked in formal education he more than made up for in creativity, talent, hard work, and by having a heart overflowing with love and service.
For a short time, Russell served in the U.S. Army, and when he was honorably discharged and returned home, he was reunited with his childhood friend, Trudy. Trudy was outside with her friends when Russ pulled up in his pride and joy, an old used Model A, minus the roof that he had cut off to make a convertible, and asked if she would like to spend some time with him. She hardly recognized him, but when she saw it was her old friend Russell, she gladly obliged. They went to Jordan Park and played on the swings like they had when they were little kids.
Over time, they spent more and more time together. Trudy’s dad wasn’t impressed with Russ’ sloppy appearance and hoodlum antics, and her mom pulled him aside one day and told him that if he wanted to see Trudy, he needed to tidy up his appearance, and straighten up his behavior. Russ worked hard to earn money for nicer clothes, and made sure to stay on the right side of the law. In fact, one day when he went to pick up Trudy, her dad hardly recognized him because he was becoming such an acceptable and respectable young man. In time, Trudy’s dad and Russ became best friends. Trudy and Russell were married in 1949, and were later sealed in the Salt Lake City temple. Who knew that a childhood friendship would lead to 71 years of marriage?
Mike was born in 1953, and Russ loved being a dad. Not only was he a top-notch example for Mike, he was also a father figure to Mike’s neighborhood friends. Russ even modified an old bike with extra seats so he could give rides to the kids who lived nearby
After working for local bakeries for a few years, Russell was able to get a regular job with Salt Lake City. He worked hard for well over 30 years in garbage collection, snow removal, and street sweeping. Rarely, if ever, did Russ miss a day of work, and always provided what his family needed. He made sacrifices so his family could live comfortably.
Russ was a self-taught guitarist and enjoyed playing bass and rhythm guitar. He played in several country western bands over the years with many friends, one of which was a three piece group called Wasatch Rangers, with his best friend Bill Havice, and Bill’s wife Lou.
Trudy and Russ traveled quite a bit after they retired, and were especially fond of camping with the people from their club. They had many camping adventures with their good friends Jerry and Darlene Van, as well as Russ’ brother Bill’s family.
Trudy and Russell enjoyed being involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and he was involved in many different church positions over the years. He especially enjoyed using his creative building talents to make scenery for the Mutual roadshows. Even as he got older, he continued to help people by scooping snow off the sidewalks, bringing in peoples’ garbage cans, and helping anyone (especially widows) with any projects they might need to have done.
Woodworking and scroll saw work kept Russell busy for many years. He enjoyed working in the yard and in his garage, doing pretty much anything to keep busy and work with his hands.
Russ often made gifts for people; he loved being sweet to his friends and family. He didn’t like saying no to people, and always did his best to instead say, “I will try.” He had the best sense of humor and loved to say funny little things to make people laugh.
In his later years, Russell’s mind was strong, but his body was wearing out. However, this never stopped him from being kind and helpful. Russ had the most positive attitude this world has ever seen.
Russell is preceded in death by his parents and brothers. He is survived by his wife, Trudy; his son, Mike (Diana) Bowcutt; granddaughter, Amber; grandson, Austin (Bekah); and great-grandkids Teagan, Emorie, Cali, and Abel.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at Larkin Mortuary at 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. The viewing will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. The chapel service will begin at 12:00 noon. Interment will be at Salt Lake City Cemetery. Please be sure to wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols. In lieu of flowers, take your family out to dinner and spend time with them, just like Russell loved doing for his family.