The Roundup -

Russel "Russ" Eugene Wells, 73, Sidney, MT


October 23, 2019 | View PDF

Russel "Russ" Wells

Russel "Russ" E. Wells, 73, Sidney, MT, passed away peacefully from metastatic bladder cancer, surrounded by his family at Sidney Health Center, Sidney, MT, September 29, 2019.

Russ was born at home near Grygla, MN, to Joseph Milton Wells and Virginia Marilyn (Wagner) Wells.

He was a 1963 graduate of Goodrich, MN, High School and attended Dickinson State College, Dickinson, ND.

He married Linda Bolken, Alexander, ND, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Dickinson, ND, on February 19, 1966. They made their home in Dickinson where he was the wire editor and sports writer for the Dickinson, ND Press.

In 1967 he became the youngest editor at the age of 21 in the state of Montana when accepted an editor position at Sidney Herald, Sidney, MT. Under his guidance the weekly newspaper grew to a twice-weekly publication. He next followed his Sidney Herald publisher, Bob Keller, to Livingston to become the editor of the daily newspaper, Livingston Enterprise, Livingston MT. His first challenge was with a union print shop, which he was not familiar with but conquered.

He then moved to Big Timber to work with the Big Timber Pioneer and opened his photography studio focusing on senior photos and weddings.

In 1972 he returned to Sidney to become the publisher of Sidney Herald and was then promoted by Wick Communications to publisher of Williston Daily Herald and Plains Reporter. In 1974 he was transferred to Sierra Vista, AZ as publisher of Sierra Vista Dispatch and Bisbee Review, Bisbee, AZ, to convert their thrice-weekly newspaper to a daily publication. Along with the Sierra Vista & Bisbee newspapers he still was in charge of the Williston & Sidney newspapers. During his tenure in Sierra Vista he became instrumental in the 25th Anniversary of the city of Sierra Vista.

His next challenge was Green Valley News that he designed a small space in a mall to an efficient newspaper publication. He also was involved with the Wilcox and Benson, AZ newspaper publications.

In 1982 he moved his family back to North Dakota where he managed for Williston Cable TV, Williston, and did advertising consulting for Williston Basin State Bank.

In 1983 he returned to Sidney to become the publisher of a newly created Richland Free Press. He spearheaded the publication for one year and then opened another new publication called Richland County Leader, which was purchased by Wick Communications in 1988.

In 1994 he purchased The Roundup, a publication based out of Garrison, ND and operating in Watford City, ND. His son, Jody purchased The Roundup in 2008.

The Roundup had grown out of its facilities so Russ began looking for a new office space. He purchased the vacant Yellowstone Mercantile in 2010 and designed it into a mini mall along with its own Italian restaurant.

Survivors include his wife, Linda; daughters, Sheri Ressler, Cape Coral, FL; Kristi Kuylen, Sidney, MT; son: Jody, Sidney, MT. Sisters: Janet Lahti and Helen Azure, Hoyt Lakes, MN; Linda Stordahl, Punta Gorda, FL; and Donna Malnar, Cambridge, MN. Brothers: John, Gilbert, MN; and Jerry Wells, White Salmon, WA. Eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren

Preceding him in death: his parents, Joe and Marilyn Wells and one sister, Robin Wells.


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