Date of Birth

December 3, 1932

Date of Death

December 26, 2021

Russell Bohlin, age 89, of Elgin, passed away at his home, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, Sunday, December 26, 2021.

He was born December 3, 1932, in Elgin, to proud and loving parents, Eugene and Florence Bohlin.

Russ grew up on the family farm in Plato Center and attended local schools. He graduated from Plato Center High School and continued the family farming business until his enlistment in the United States Army. He began his military career in September of 1955 and served in Germany alongside his future brother-in-law, Carl Ekstrom. Russ was honorably discharged as trained sharpshooter and returned to civilian life in February of 1957.

Russ met Darlene Ekstrom at Margaret Swanson’s wedding.  In that brief first meeting they could already hear the wedding bells ringing.  Russell played baseball with Darlene’s brother which gave them many more opportunities to get to know each other.  Their courtship lasted for four years during which Russell was away serving his country in the military.  Darlene and Russell were united in marriage on September 27, 1958.  They made their home on Russell’s family farm and once there Darlene gave up her job at Hawley’s to become a fulltime homemaker.  After two years, they welcomed their first child and had two more children to fill their home.

Russ spent his life on the fields of his youth, tending to the family acres and in the early years, 50 cows.

Russ was instrumental in establishing a summer baseball league in Burlington in the late 1960’s. He coached for ten years in both the little leagues and later, the pony league. He was a leader in 4-H and headed up the Central Wranglers from 1969-1977. He was member of the Grace Lutheran Church and served on the church council, was head usher, played in the church bowling league and was an active member of the Grace Road Runner’s. He was also on the Lily Lake Cemetery Board. When Russ wasn’t supporting his children in their endeavors, or the church, he dedicated time to the Kane Co. Corn Growers Association.

Russ loved his daily trip to the Elburn coffee shop, first at Smitty’s, which later became Hanson’s, and in more recent years to the Rise N Dine, where he got to drink his fill of both coffee and gossip.  His fishing trips with Darlene in northern Minnesota, made for great memories, especially when they brought the kids. It didn’t matter what he caught, as long as he caught it or could tell a story about it, Russ was happy.

He is survived by three children: Kevin (Pam) Bohlin, Greg (Cassy) Bohlin, Laurie (Gary) Weese; seven grandkids; Amanda (Larry), Ashley (Kyle), Michael, Andrea, Dalton, Sydney, and Coulter; three great-grandchildren: Chloe, Donald, Annabelle and one more on the way.

He is preceded by his parents, Eugene and Florence; his wife Darlene and one sister, Audrey Metzger

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 30, 2021, at Grace Lutheran Church, 5N600 Hanson Rd., St. Charles, (Lily Lake) IL 60175. Burial will be Friday, December 31, at Lily Lake Cemetery at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, Lily Lake, 5N600 Hanson Rd., St. Charles, IL 60175.  Tributes and memories may be left on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page or at

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 30, 2021, at Grace Lutheran Church, 5N600 Hanson Rd., St. Charles, (Lily Lake) IL 60175. Burial will be Friday, December 31, at Lily Lake Cemetery at 11 a.m.

4 thoughts on “RUSSELL BOHLIN

  1. So sorry for you loss. My dad (Herman) and your dad used to work together on various projects.
    I also baby sat for Kevin when he was first born.

  2. One of my favorite memories of Russ is Christmas Eve services at Grace. It was Russ who regulated the lighting, especially during the final song “Silent Night” as candles were distributed to every member. This choral singing together of the beautiful melody and words by all gathered made this midnight service so special.
    May God be with the family during this time of sorrow. May your tears turn to joy as you remember family stories and have the realization that Russ is now “home”.
    “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guide while life shall last, And our eternal home.”

  3. I first met Russ when I was elected to the Lily Lake Cemetery Board in 1999. Russ was President of the Board at that time and had been for several years. We had several board meetings at his home, with Darlene always providing us with coffee and treats after each meeting. Russ continued to serve as President until 2016, and then as a regular board member until the time of his passing, providing many years of great service. I always found Russ to be kind and thoughtful while also being a strong leader. I have served as Secretary/Treasurer of the cemetery board for the last five years and in that role I often called Russ for his advice on cemetery matters. He will be greatly missed by all of who serve the Lily Lake Cemetery.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bohlin Family on the loss of Russell Bohlin. I was the 5th gr. teacher at Lily Lake in 1970’s. I was fortunate to have Greg and Laurie as my students. I could tell that they came from a wonderful family and that they learned ethics, morals, and good Christian values from their parents. May God Bless your father and mother and they did their life work of raising you well. May your Dad have peace in Heaven and be your guiding light in the future.

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