Russell Alan Elder, age 85, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. A resident of Provo, Utah, he was born in Macomb, Illinois on October 11, 1935. \n\nAfter high school, Rus served in the United States Navy for 24 years. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat photographer and photojournalist, was awarded two Purple Hearts, and retired as a Senior Chief. After his time in the Navy, Rus received a Master of Arts degree from Ball State University before starting a long career as a professor of photojournalism at Northern Illinois University. \n\nRus was a vibrant person--an accomplished photographer, educator, author, and performer. The many years he spent contributing his talents to community theater with the Stage Coach Players in DeKalb, Illinois--both on stage and behind the scenes--was a tremendous source of pride for Rus.\n\nThroughout his life, Rus was well loved for his sense of humor and charm. A lover of science fiction and fantasy, Rus had a special affinity for Star Wars and anything about dragons. \n\nA devoted husband and loving father, Rus was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years Edith (Wood), daughter Marjorie (Michael), daughter Linda (Ron), and son Ray. He is survived by his wife of 11 years Maryina (Herde) and son Jeff (David); step children Sean (Jennifer), Jennessa (Ronald), and Corey; seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren; and siblings Karen (Bill), Beth (Bob), and Dale (Kathleen). \n\nRus will be interred at Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden, UT. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to may make a donation to Rescue Mission of Salt Lake or American Cancer Society.\n\nCondolences can be offered at legacyfunerals.com.