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AVILLA — Russell W. James, 77, of Avilla, passed away at his home surrounded by family on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
He was born on Jan. 3, 1941, in Fort Wayne to the late Russell and Corrine (Fryer) James. He was a veteran, serving in the Air Force as a police officer, and served in the Air National Guard. He was a former partner in Zanxx in Avilla, retiring in 1995, and was currently owner of ONXX Tool in Avilla. Russ loved to play poker and played in the World Series of Poker. He also built and flew his own plane and belonged to the Experimental Aircraft Association. In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching golf.
On July 25, 1997, in Fort Wayne, he married Susan Wuthrich, who survives. Also surviving are his son, Wade (Colleen) James of Churubusco; and daughters Lara (Kenneth) Amstutz of LaOtto, Amy Stout of Fort Wayne and Jennifer (Mark) Lime of South Whitley. Also surviving are nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sisters Phyllis (Dick) Leazier of Angola and Linda (Bill) Etzler of Fort Wayne, and his first wife, Rita James.
He was preceded in death by an infant brother, Steven.
A celebration of life will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Harper Funeral Homes, Avilla Chapel, 530 N. Main St., Avilla. Family and friends may gather from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Allen County SPCA.
To sign the online guest book or to leave condolences, visit www.harperfuneralhomes.com.