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Categorized | Church Connection, Obituary

Russell “Santa” Schestag

Russell "Santa" Schestag

Russell "Santa" Schestag

Russell Allen Schestag, “Santa” died at his Sand Lake home, late Sunday evening. Russ and wife Marion (Visser), of Sand Lake, served as Santa and Mrs. Claus for businesses and organizations in Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties for twenty six years.  Russ and Marion were the recipients of numerous awards for their service to community and non profit organizations.  Adults, as well as children, grew up never knowing his real name, because he always answered to “Santa.” Russ gave the gift of himself year around; to his country by serving in the Marine Corp for 13 years, through appointment as the first clerk for the Food Stamp Program in Craven County, North Carolina, to family and friends, and was a driving force for the development of the Ensley Nature Preserve, Ensley Township, Newaygo County.  Russ worked on trail development and used his woodworking skills to design signage applicable to children. Russ “Santa” leaves his beloved wife Marion (Visser), children, Kristen (Earl) Fisk of Pierson, Melissa (Jason) Hill of Whit hill, Tennessee, Melissa (Bill) Simonson, fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Visitation will be at Pierson Bible Church, Thursday, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm with a Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00pm.  In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to the Russ Schestag “Santa” Memorial set up at Choice One Bank. Russ did not have insurance. The family is requesting donations be made in lieu of flowers and cards to help with their financial hardship during this time. You may contribute with debit, credit, or Paypal by visiting www.myccsonline.com/russ and clicking the ‘donate’ button. You may also mail any contribution directly to the Schestag Family at:
Schestag Family
9527 E. 120th St.
Sand Lake, MI 49343

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