Rubel “Tony” Mestas, age 89, of Russell, Minnesota, died peacefully on Thursday, September 15, 2022, at his home under the care of hospice and with family at his side. Memorial Services are 11:00 a.m. Monday, September 19, 2022, at Grace First Parish in Russell, Minnesota. Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Russell Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, September 18, 2022, at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall. The evening will conclude with a Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will then continue one hour prior to the service, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., on Monday, at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family as they will collect funds to go toward planting trees in Tony’s memory around Russell.
Rubel Antonio Mestas was born on June 14, 1933, on a ranch near Clayton, New Mexico, to parents Juan and Maria (Vialpando) Mestas. When the depression forced his family to leave the ranch they relocated to Fountain, Colorado. As a young child, Tony was given to his grandmother – as was custom to ensure that people had security in their later years. All wages earned by children went to help support the entire family. At age 19 Tony enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He served honorably during the Korean War and was even selected to be part of the Marine Corp Honor Guard while stationed in Japan. Upon returning home Tony met Ms. Sharon Rae Hansen in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The couple was united in marriage in 1956 and they spent 65 years together. Tony then listed in the United States Air Force as the couple made their first home in Denver, Colorado, where they soon welcomed their first daughter, Annette. The family then was transferred to Tucson, Arizona, where Tony was deployed to many different bases including Maryland where he was trained as an explosive ordnance disposal expert. Their second daughter, Julie, joined the family while in Arizona. Tony was transferred to Anchorage, Alaska, where they welcomed their son Anthony. They resided in Alaska during the 1964 earthquake and the family again moved several times as Tony was deployed for a year in Da Nang, Vietnam, where Tony was awarded the Bronze Star and Airman’s Medal. Following a final assignment in Germany, Tony retired from his military service after 20 years of dedication to his country. Throughout his military career Tony was proud to earn over 9 different medals. The final transition was to Russell, Minnesota, where Tony began work as a janitor at the Russell High School. He also ran the local service station and worked part-time at Schwan’s and Walmart. Never one to sit still, Tony was often found fishing, feeding the birds and pheasants, woodworking, and tending to his gardens. Tony loved his pets – especially his dogs – and he loved spending time with his family at his home.
Rubel “Tony” Mestas died peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, September 15, 2022, at his home outside of Russell, Minnesota. He had reached the age of 89 years, 3 months, and 1 day. Blessed be his memory.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Mestas of Russell; 3 children, Annette Mestas of Lexington, KY, Julie Mestas of Golden Valley, Anthony (and Frelyn) Mestas of Russell; 3 grandchildren, Aaron Thooft of Marshall, Amie Ulttenbogaard of Lexington, KY, Carrie Mestas of Russell; brother, Ben Mestas of Colorado, Simon Mestas of California; brother-in-law, Alan (and Jane) Hansen of Russell; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.