Russell E. “Russ” Belsaas, a cherished husband, loving father, and passionate motorcycle enthusiast, peacefully passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at the age of 69. A celebration of his life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at the McIntosh Ranch in Ellensburg.
Born on June 24, 1953, in Ellensburg, Washington, Russ was the son of Bonnie Prather Belsaas and Robert Belsaas. His early years were spent in Ellensburg, where he developed a deep appreciation for his community.
After graduating from Ellensburg High School in 1971, he embarked on a professional journey that would shape his life and leave an indelible mark on the construction industry when he joined his father's business, Belsaas and Smith. Working side by side with his father, he honed his skills and gained invaluable experience in the construction field. In the 1980s, Russ, along with his partner John Smith, took over the business, purchasing Belsaas and Smith from their fathers. Together, they transitioned the company from building custom homes to specializing in public works projects, commercial buildings, and excavation work.
Their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication resulted in notable success, and in 2010, Russ and John sold the company to Brandon Drexlor and Bryan Nelson. However, his passion for the construction industry remained unwavering, and he continued to work at the company he had poured his heart and soul into, exemplifying his love for the industry.
Russ’s affinity for motorcycles began in his teenage years when he first rode a Harley-Davidson. From that moment, his love for motorcycles grew exponentially, encompassing not only riding them but also collecting these mechanical marvels. His passion for motorcycles became a significant part of his life, bringing him joy and camaraderie with fellow enthusiasts.
On March 10, 2006, Russ married the love of his life, Colleen Anderson. Their marriage was filled with shared adventures and treasured moments. Whether it was embarking on motorcycle rides, exploring the outdoors on ATVs, clam digging, or working on their property, Russ and Colleen reveled in each other's company. They delighted in simple pleasures like weekend coffees and cherished their Saturday night date nights. Together, they embarked on remarkable journeys, traveling to destinations such as Mexico and Iceland, creating memories that would last a lifetime.
Russ’s love extended to his children, as he helped raise Cristin and Matias Rocafort, loving them as his own. He took immense pride in their accomplishments, cherishing the bond they shared. His love and devotion as a father and stepfather were unwavering, and his legacy will forever live on through the lives he touched.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Colleen Anderson; his daughter, Cristin (Mike) Gray, and their children, Cooper and Aspen Gray; his brother-in-law, Bob Berge; his sister-in-law, Debbie (Mike) Abbott; and his childhood friend, Steve Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his son, Matias Rocafort; his sister, Cherie Berge as well as his parents Bonnie & Roy Taramasco and Bob & Mary Belsaas.
Russ held a deep commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Kittitas County Recovery Community Organization (KCRCO) – online at https://kittitascountyrco.org/donate
Russ will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to his work, his passion for motorcycles, and his boundless love for his family. His memory will forever be cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in eternal peace, knowing that his legacy will continue to inspire and resonate with all whose lives he touched.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Ellensburg.