Russell “Russ” Jay Blanden

Russell “Russ” Jay Blanden, age 75 of Tecumseh, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 1. 2023 at Memory Lane Assisted Living in Ypsilanti. He was born November 11, 1947 in Tecumseh, a son of the late Merwin Russell and Francelia (Ford) Blanden. On October 10, 1981 in Denver, CO he married Debra LoAnn Leis and they have shared 41 years together.

Russell worked at the Tecumseh Products Company as a Mechanical Engineer until his retirement in 2001. For many years in the evenings after working at the Tecumseh Products Company he taught at the Lenawee Tech Center in Adrian. He was a member of the Tecumseh United Methodist Church since 1984.  He was a member of the Tecumseh Masonic Lodge and Past Worshipful Master with the Masonic Lodge, the Shriners and the Tecumseh Club. Russell loved to ride motorcycles, snowmobiling and fishing. He loved being with his children and grandchildren and when he retired, he took them on many cross-country trips.

Along with his wife, Debra, Russell is survived by his children, Anthony (Laura) Vondy of Concord, Christin (William) Dowd of Brooklyn, Holly (Frankie) Piazza of Whitefish, Mont., Marc (Darcie) Blanden of Whitefish, Mont. and Aaron (Jessica) Vondy of Durham, N.C.; sister, Harriett (Lee) Britton of Alpena; brother David (Barbara) Blanden of Tecumseh; 13 grandchildren, Tiffany, Caitlyn, Elizabeth, Zachary, Nicholas, Kai, Ethan N., Joshua, Eleanor, Jack, Hunter, Ethan R. and Addison; and two great-grandchildren, Arthur and Logan.

Memorial visitation for Russell will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes with a Masonic Service at 7:30 p.m.  A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Tecumseh United Methodist Church with Pastor Jodi Cartwright officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital or the Tecumseh United Methodist Church Endowment Fund. Online condolences may be offered to the family at


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