Russell Jay Bumgardner (September 25, 1962 – May 20, 2018) | PostIndependent.com

Russell Jay Bumgardner (September 25, 1962 – May 20, 2018)

Rusty Bumgardner was born in Rifle, CO, to Lex and Margaret Bumgardner. Rusty passed away in Conroe, Texas.

He attended school in Gypsum and graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1980. While in high school he was a member of the football and wrestling teams, qualifying for the state wrestling tournament his senior year. He also participated in rodeo for many years; riding saddle bronc horses was his specialty.

Upon graduating high school he worked on the north slope of Alaska drilling for oil. After the work in Alaska slowed, he started a business building radio and microwave towers. He stayed in that industry for over 30 years until his passing, at one point traveling to Jordan in the Middle East to build towers. Rusty was very knowledgeable and well-respected in the tower business.

Rusty met his wife Sheryl Smith, and was married on December 31, 1991, welcoming in her extended family, and was later referred to as “Poppy” by the grand kids. They remained married for 27 years until his passing.

Rusty really enjoyed Nascar racing, watching high school football games, and coming home to Colorado almost every fall for hunting season and spent a lot of his free time fishing in Texas.

He was preceded in death by his father Lex.

He is survived by his wife, Sheryl, of Cypress, Tx.; mother Margaret (Lyn) Merrick of Eagle, Co.; brothers Ray (Stacy) of Silt, Co., and Rick (Becky) of Eagle, Co., Shawn Kopecky of Cypress, Tx., Clayton Kopecky, and Morgan Kopecky of Cypress, Tx.; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.