Russell (Russ) Rupert L'Hirondelle

05/07/1945 - 04/01/2021

Obituary For Russell (Russ) Rupert L'Hirondelle

July 5, 1945 – January 4, 2021

Russ L'Hirondelle, retired resident of Grande Prairie Alberta for 40 years, passed away at the age of 75 on January 4 2021.

A kind, funny, generous man who had many lifelong friends that he liked to watch westerns with and talk about the good old days. He was a businessman, had a passion for learning, teaching guitar, for music, family, grandchildren, and loved to joke with everyone.

He will be missed by his wife Randa, son Tyler, daughters Shauna, Rhonda, Monica and Ashley, grandchildren Kailee, Dylan, Dallas, Conor, Kora, Cassidy, Sydney, Corbin, Torin, Meia, Sheree and Danyka, brothers Charles, Clarance, Bernard, and Larry, as well as other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.

Russell was pre-deceased by his parents Romeo and Delphine, and sister Shirley.

A Funeral Service will take place on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 1:00pm. A livestream of the service will be available on Bear Creek Funeral Home’s Youtube Channel (link below).

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Bear Creek Funeral Home
11802 99 Ave
Grande Prairie, AB T8W 0C7
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(1/2) Russ and I chummed with each other while growing up in Milk River, then continued a very close friendship during our Calgary days for many years. Eventually, our careers took us in separate paths – Russ and his family moved to Grande Prairie; my family and I moved to Vancouver. I'd like to share with you just one fun memory from our Milk River days that Russ and I recalled on a phone call just a few weeks before his passing. It was about 56 years ago, Russ and I were hired to help build a two-story chicken barn in Coutts, Alberta. One day when we were busy nailing down the plywood roof, a fellow worker got into Russ' lunch bucket, a true no-no. When lunch break came along and Russ discovered the pillaging, he took after the thief while wielding a hammer. The worker, fearing for his very life, ran full tilt to the end of the roof, then out over the side, legs wiggling in the air as he dropped. When he landed, both his work boots sunk deep into the soft backfill, but that didn't stop him! He sucked his boots out of the dirt and kept on running until he heard Russ' tee-hee, giggly laughter from way up high. Of course, Russ never held a grudge, all was forgiven and we went back to work shortly thereafter. But bucket raiding was, for sure, now a thing of the past. That fellow worker is hopefully reading this and knowing that when he was a young guy, he helped make a great story for us that day. Calgary days were fun, too. Russ and Randa started their family while living there. Tyler and my son, John, were great buds during those days. We'd all get together often. Russ and I enjoyed watching boxing a lot. Ever heard of Joe Frasier, Ingemar Johanssen, Floyd Patterson, Larry Holmes? Well then, you probably heard of a young fellow by the name of Cassius Clay back then! I'm pretty sure that Russ and I used to get testosterone boosts from sharing all those classic matches. Russ could handle himself, too, should it ever come to that, but it wasn't his nature to be unkind to anyone, ever. And he never was. Russ used to enjoy playing his guitar and he had a beautiful singing voice, so he was alert to the new up-and-coming entertainers that were growing in popularity. Just to show how long ago those Calgary days were, I remember critiquing with Russ, a new guy coming up through the ranks. Russ predicted this dude would be very successful; I wasn't convinced. The guy's name was Elvis Presley. Who knew?
(2/2) There was a time we four parents, Randa, Rita, Russ and I went on a getaway summer camping and waterskiing trip for two glorious weeks on the rugged west shore of Kootenay Lake, BC. We certainly had our share of wildlife concerns on the remote beach but the abundance of yellow-jacket wasps oft provided mild entertainment for us when we cooked and ate. However, one day, a horsefly showed up mid-day. It was large and determined with an attitude - determined that it wanted a chunk out of Russ' well-tanned hide. Russ swung at it, ducked away from it, tried to swat it in the air. No luck, it darted about, circled overhead and seemed to feel it was going to have the upper hand, long-term. In a last attempt to discourage the black monster, Russ ran full-tilt boogy along the sandy shore and straight into the lake. He thrashed, splashed and threw gallons of water into the air at the vicious meat-eater. Nope, the agile beast was still there, still circling. In a last effort to survive, Russ dove completely under water and held his breath for a scary long time. That didn't discourage Mr. Horsefly - the darn thing continued circling in an ever-tightening radius atop where Russ was submerged. A couple of times, Russ' one eye peered up from the water, spotted his nemesis, sucked in a fresh gulp of air and again, under he went. After a bit, His Royal Meanness decided this guy probably wouldn't taste good anyway and flew away. We all had a major laugh over the experience, most of all, Russ. Oh, the fun stories about Russ I could tell! What a great guy, and a life-long friend! - Mike Bardell
So sorry to hear about this huge loss. We are sending love, respect and prayers to the L'Hirondelle family. We love you guys.
- Deborah Hardy
Deepest sympathy Randa and family. Linda Perkins
- Linda Perkins
My deepest sympathy Randi to you and your family. Love and Blessings to all. Ann bate
- Ann Bate
- Linda Hayman
- Linda Hayman
Oh Russ, we had so many phone calls to each other for so many years, meet for breakfast the odd time and talk about old times. , I actually would really bug you and got so many laughs for the both of us and enjoying listening to you laugh. Hard to believe your not here anymore, but expecting a visit from you like we always talked about. Miss you already, have fun with the angels 😇
- Linda Hayman
Sending prayers and condolences at this time of your loss, may he rest in peace.
- Rosie

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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