Classmate Biography

Rio Linda Senior High School - Rio Linda, CA - Class of 1971

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Yvonne Kruger Russell
(Yvonne Kruger)

Originally written February 20, 2000
Last updated July 4, 2010




No college education. Training and certification for Tax Preparation (H&R Block) Basic Firefighter, Firefighter I, First Responder (Umpqua Comm. College) Hostage Negotiator (Department of Justice, F.B.I.)

Love Life

Have been married for 38 years to John Russell (RLHS, 1969). I'm not going to say it's been all wine and roses. It has taken lots of patience, understanding and determination by both of us. It's better than it's ever been, now, and all worth it. John has had two organ transplants, a kidney in 2005 and a pancreas in 2006, all due to lifelong diabetes. He was very ill for five years and now a well man again. It sure brings mixed feelings when someone's life ends and in turn gives life and quality of life to another. We've been in contact with both donor families and maintain a friendship with a best friend of the pancreas donor. We think of both donors every day.

We have one truly wonder daughter, now 32. Erika is an RN working in the emergency room of our local hospital. Her husband, Sam, is a Firefighter/Paramedic/Fire Investigator in a neighboring town they reside in.

We have a grandson, Cody, that is just the best and so much fun. He is now 9 years old. We always look forward to spending time with him. We also have a 13 month old granddaughter, Teagen. She is sure a cutie and also bring joy to our lives.


Began working for Rio Linda School District right out of high school. Did that for a short time. Then I worked for Firemans Fund Insurance in the typing pool. In 1974 I went to work for McClellan AFB for two years, when hubby and I decided I should stay home, start a family and go from there. Finally had our daughter in November, 1977. Stayed home until our daughter started school, 1982. I then worked for San Juan Unified School District in the same school she attended as Teacher's Assistant and Parent Teacher Coordinator. (I was fortunate, had the best of both worlds - knew all of the teachers, students and got to come home with her. She didn't have to be a latch-key kid). But, when she went on to Junior High it was time for me to branch out too. I became employed by Cigna Insurance Company. Unfortunately, my husband lost his job and we decided to move to Oregon. (Which is where we had planned to retire, anyway) Moved to the fine city of Roseburg in April of 1990. June, 1990 I was hired as a Records Clerk for the Roseburg Police Department. December of 1993 I was promoted to Records Supervisor and July of 1999 I accepted the position of Police Staff Assistant, still supervising the Records Department and the Administrative/Property Technician. I work directly under the Chief of Police. I am also the Law Enforcement Data Systems Representative, Criminal Intelligence Specialist and one of seven trained Hostage Negotiators. I love my job and work with the BEST. I have very strong work ethics and high expectations for myself and those I supervise.


I enjoy playing softball. I've played on leagues in Rio Linda and Citrus Heights before moving to Oregon. After moving to Oregon I played on the City League (just for fun). When playing in Citrus Heights we played in several tournaments throughout California and even ventured out to Maui, Hawaii. Made that one into a vacation. The other sport we enjoy is racing. NASCAR, Sprints/Midgets, Crown Car, all that good stuff. We also enjoy camping, fishing and crabbing. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for S.C.O.P.E. (Senior Community Outreach Prevention Education) Our purpose is to support the development and implementation of an outreach program for Douglas County seniors and homes in need using RSVP volunteers. We recently purchased a Harley Davidson Classic Touring motorcycle and are enjoying the ride.


I must say I think 38 years of marriage is an accomplishment to be proud of. We raised a wonderful daughter with strong morals and have been told by many that she is such a sweetheart and truly a nice girl. We have a son in law also with strong ethics and valued morals who treats our daughter and grandson with respect and honest love. We're fortunate that he thinks of our grandson and a son and has goals for him, treating him like his own. We have a new home on 3 1/2 acres rolling hills, pine and oak. We have completely remodeled our old home and turned that into a rental on the adjacent 3 1/2 acres. Life is not bad. Finding a career I love is perhaps not exactly an accomplishment, but I'm very fortunate to have done so.


Lived in Rio Linda until 1979. Sold our home and moved temporarily to Rancho Cordova until purchasing our second home in Orangevale. Sold that home in 1990, moving to Roseburg, Oregon, and a year later we purchased our home in Melrose (outskirts of Roseburg). This is where we will retire.


Every year the Police Officers in Douglas County participate in a rundraiser called "Camp Millenium". This is a camp for CHILDREN WITH CANCER. The camp is set up with activities and medical personnel. The children can bond with other children who are experiencing the same medical problems. The camp is a place where they are all the same and they don't feel out of place.

What the officers do to participate is collect donations and for those donations they shave their heads. It is called "BUZZ THE FUZZ".

I buzzed my head (twice) to raise donations for Camp Millennium, a camp for children with cancer. The even was called BUZZ THE FUZZ, because our officers buzz there heads for the event. I decided I should be able to raise alot of money, being a woman, for this event. In 2001 I raised $3305 and in 2003 I raised $7235. It was a great feeling to help the children who have fallen victim to cancer go to camp. The are true heros. I was proud to be a participant in such a great cause.

Oregon Opportunities

Moving to Oregon is the best thing we ever did. Our daughter had so many opportunities here that she may not have had otherwise. She was very active in the local volunteer fire department (Lookingglass Rural Fire Department). My husband is a volunteer fire fighter. He has earned his Firefighter II certification and serves as the Captain. I was also a volunteer, but resigned, as I had too much on my plate. I'll get back into it again, sort of taking a break. Even though we have women in the department, (and they do a fine job) it's a man's job. Although, the other women in the department probably wouldn't agree. Our daughter was a member of the Roseburg Police Explorer Program where she worked her way up to Explorer Lieutenant. She was involved with the program from age 14 to 18, when she resigned to continue her education as an Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic. Roseburg has a lower crime rate than many other areas. We have made good friends here that are all involved with the community and public service. I do miss my family in California but make every attempt to visit. My in-laws moved to Roseburg about a year before we did, so we see them more often.
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