Russell Alain Giroux was born on January 17, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the fourth child of Herb and Adele Giroux, joining his three older sisters, Barbara, Diane and Jackie. Russ was a lucky guy to have four moms.
Growing up in Chicago was special. There was a lot of extended family there that he was able to spend time with, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a niece and nephew, not too far apart in age. Russ’ home was filled with numerous animals including dogs, birds and rabbits. Pets were encouraged by his family to teach responsibility and compassion; Russ’ mom had one rule: No snakes! Having a big family nearby is the one thing that Russ missed about living in the Midwest; it definitely wasn’t the weather.
Russ attended Catholic schools and graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1981.
Russ had a strong work ethic his whole life, delivering papers at age 8. Other jobs he had included gas station attendant, Burger King server, waiter and parking cars at an exclusive restaurant in Chicago; there he drove several cars owned by mafia and got some really good tips. His first chosen career was restaurant manager. After high school he earned a two year degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management from Triton College.
When Russ turned 21, he moved to California, which had been a dream since he was a boy. His family enjoyed numerous trips to the Golden State where he fell in love with the mild temperatures and the realization that it didn’t rain every day, like in Chicago. He first moved to San Bernardino where he was a waiter for a Mexican restaurant, El Gordo Gato. Russ had no idea what the items on the menu were because the only Mexican food in Chicago at the time was Taco Bell. He later served as a general manager for Del Taco where he opened a new store in Palmdale, one of his proudest accomplishments. He also served as the manager for Marie Callendar’s in Palmdale and Camarillo.
In 1990, Russ proudly enlisted in the Air Force in order to serve his country. He trained in electronics and was stationed at Channel Island Air Guard Base in March of 1991. A friend at the base invited him to attend a singles Bible Study where he met Karen McElmurry. Russ said that he knew the first night that Karen was the one he wanted to marry. Russ and Karen dated nine months before Russ proposed on Valentine’s Day. They were married on August 8, 1992.
Russ worked at Title Shippers Association as a manager from 1992-1999. Russ’ oldest daughter, Erika, was born in 1996. In 1999, Russ attended school for computer training and in 2000, a full-time position as avioitics technician opened at Channel Islands. A year later the tragic events of 9/11 occurred. Russ was deployed numerous times to the Middle East to assist with the war effort. Russ’ youngest, daughter, Michelle, was born in 2002.
Russ had a passion for muscle cars. He owned many and could identify any car on the road. In addition to the real thing, Russ had hundreds (felt more like thousands to his family) of model die-cast cars that he bought and sold through the years. Russ enjoyed owning homes and serving as a landlord for rental units. Russ grew up with St. Bernards and was a lifelong dog lover. When he married Karen, she made it clear that big dogs were not something she could tolerate. They found a small dog breed, Havanese, and enjoyed owning several of them throughout the years.
Russ was an amazing husband and dad. He was always generous with his girls and gave them anything, within reason, that he knew they wanted and more. He enjoyed time with his family and planned many fun vacations through the years. He will be missed dearly by his wife, daughters, future son-in-law, sisters, mother-in-law, brothers –in- law, sister-in-law, cousins, aunts, nieces, nephews, co-workers and friends.
A viewing will be held at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo on Fri, Mar 1, 2019 from 5pm – 8pm and a memorial service on Sat, Mar 2, 2019 at 10am at Chapel City Church in Camarillo. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Wounded Warriors or Chapel City Church.
...Family in the care of Erin Arteaga, Funeral Director
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Chapel City Church
2315 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo CA 93010