Russell Walter Hope was born June 2, 1942 to Walter and Alice Hope. He passed away on April 8, 2018. He grew up on the Hope Ranch south of Bighorn where he developed a special ability to train horses and a love for wide open spaces. He graduated from Custer High School and then attended University of Montana and graduated from Eastern Montana College with a degree in English and minor in History. He ranched in Melville in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains and then made his home north of Big Timber.
Russell overcame many struggles in life with a 'cowboy up' attitude. He was most proud of his success and membership in the Big Timber chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. There he made many lifelong friends and was able to mentor others through their journey in the program. In 2003, Russell was involved in a horse accident which left him confined to a wheelchair. Russell kept a remarkable positive attitude and reminisced about the things he loved. Russell will be remembered for his great sense of humor, love of arguing about politics, and as a skilled horseman and cowboy with many tales to tell. He will be dearly missed.
Russell is preceded in death by his father and mother, Walter and Alice Hope and sister, Beth Hope. He is survived by his brother Carl Hope of Hysham; sister Janice (Clark) Rhinehart of Bighorn; nieces, Ardell Trusty and Kelsey Rhinehart; and numerous cousins. Russell also leaves behind a host of dear friends and a lasting impression on many people’s lives.
Viewing 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 20, Smith Downtown Chapel in Billings. Graveside services will be held Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. at Custer Cemetery in Custer. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Custer Congregational Church or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be shared by visiting smithfuneralchapels.com.