Russell H. Zakariasen H. Zakariasen
May 19, 1912 - November 6, 2009
Russell H. Zakariasen died Nov. 6, 2009 at his home in Payson, surrounded by loving family. He was born May 19, 1912 in Brainerd, Minn. He lived with his parents and 11 siblings in Excelsior, Minn. He married Hazel McLeod in 1941 in Minneapolis, Minn. They had seven children and were happily married for 62 years.
He was an Eagle Scout and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1940. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy (Lieutenant, J.G.) in 1942. With his brother, Kenneth, he owned and operated Homedale Nursery in Hopkins, Minn. and was a landscape architect; beautifying homes, businesses and public works throughout the state of Minnesota.
He was a longtime park commissioner for Hennepin County, Minn., establishing thousands of acres of parklands. He was a member and trustee of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins, Minn. He served on the Hopkins City Council.
After selling the nursery to the Green Giant Corp. in 1971, he began a second career as a designer and builder of golf courses. He built courses in Waconia, LeSeuer and Eden Prairie, Minn.; one in Wisconsin and two in Arizona.
In 1975, he bought the Payson Golf Course, along with his sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Omar Lemmage, and built the back nine holes. They sold the course in 1977 when Russ and Hazel moved to Fountain Hills, where they lived for 15 years. In 1993 they moved to Good Shepherd Villa in Mesa, where they were members of Victory Lutheran Church. His wife died Nov. 9, 2003. He then returned to Payson in 2005 where he married Ethel Hull of Payson on June 28, 2005.
He is survived by his wife and six of his children, 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Donations may be made to RTA Hospice Compassus, 511 S. Mudsprings Road, Payson, AZ 85541 or Elks Lodge 2154, 1206 N. Beeline Hwy., Payson, AZ 85541.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 15 at Mount Cross Lutheran Church, 601 E. Highway 260, Payson.