Sunday, April 14, 2024

Russ Brisboy, 65

| March 30, 2024 1:00 AM

Russell “Russ” Allen Brisboy, 65, passed away March 27, 2024, surrounded by loved ones in his Sandpoint, Idaho home.

Russ was born May 6, 1958, to Ed and Zelma (Hull) Brisboy of Sagle, the first of four children. In 1976, he graduated from Sandpoint High School, where his natural athleticism and competitive nature helped him achieve excellence in basketball, resulting in full-ride scholarship offers. Bound by his love for the wonders of Bonner County, though, he opted to stay in Sandpoint and later played on the Budweiser softball team.  

On October 4, 1997, Russ married Sonja Hansen, also a Sandpoint native. The two shared a love for golf and spent years competing on professional and semi-professional circuits. Sonja, quick to attest to Russ’ skill and competitive drive, has been heard remarking that at least once, she was forced to beat him as a means to manage his attitude. “The drive home, however, was quiet,” she recounts.

Russ also won several state bowling championships and competed nationally. His love for sport was rivaled only by his devotion to hunting, fishing, and spending time with his grandkids. As a grandfather, his energy and love for the great outdoors paired well with the band of kids who were sure to follow him to the hunting cabin, Stoneridge, or the movie theatre. His generous and inclusive demeanor meant he could be found setting the table at family gatherings, collecting and delivering firewood, counseling young hunters on the ways of the woods, and most recently, processing smokies. 

His working career included years at the McFarland Pole Yard, alongside his father, Ed, and uncle Delbert. He later purchased R&S Amusements from his uncle, Dan Hull, and operated R&S Bowling Alley with his wife, Sonja. The greens at the Elks Golf Course flourished under his watchful eye and penchant for the perfect lawn.  

 A favorite saying of Russ’ was “I like what I like.” Those who knew him best knew he wasn’t given to half-hearted attempts at success. He was fueled by passion and a commitment to a job well done, in everything he encountered. While never boastful, his skill, talent, and efforts earned the respect of those around him, many with whom he’d built life-long friendships, such as his "Old Sagle Hunting Crew," his high school basketball coach, Bill Adams, and long-time friend Kevin Downard. He looked for opportunities to mentor young people who were sure to benefit from his experience. His love for his wife and family was unshakable, but no more than his complete devotion to Sophie, his one-eyed wiener dog mix, with whom he spent countless hours.

He is survived by his wife, Sonja Brisboy; two daughters Jeanette (Ken) Jones and Andrea (David) Darling; parents Ed and Zelma Brisboy; two sisters Debbie (Tracey) Drllviech of Auburn, Wash., and Gayle (Guy) Marks; one brother Jim Brisboy; six grandchildren Chris, Madalyn, Caelan, Ethan, Issabell, and Ashyln (Andrea and Jeanette); and nephews Troy and Ryan Marks (Gayle); and his beloved dog, Sophie. 

He was preceded in death by his aunt, Yvonne Hull; and cousin Tevis Hull.

Memorial services will be held at Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow at Ponderay Event Center. Memorial donations may be made to Elk’s Youth Golf Program. Please visit Russ’ online memorial at and sign his guest book.