Russell Dean Zumstein

russell zumstein

October 27, 1926 ~ April 21, 2020

Born in: Akron, OH
Resided in: Arden, NC

Russell Dean Zumstein, 93, of Arden, died Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at the Lodge at Mills River.

Born in Akron, OH, he was the husband of the late Mary Pauline (Gosnell) Zumstein, and the son of the late Ernest and Ruth (Weatherford) Zumstein. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Donald Zumstein.

Russell was a US Navy veteran of WWII and after being discharged he attended Warren Wilson College where he met and married the love of his life, Polly. After leaving Warren Wilson College he began his 42-year career with Duke Energy, which took him to several locations in North Carolina including Waterville, Goldsboro, and finishing up his career at the Skyland facility.

He was a longstanding and active member of Skyland Methodist Church where he participated in various programs including Wesley Sunday School, mentoring youths, Administrative Support, Building Committee, and various others.

He is survived by a son, Gary Zumstein and his wife Linda of Mills River and a daughter, Janice Buffler and her husband Mark of Springfield, VA.

A Graveside Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Calvary Episcopal Churchyard with Rev. Joy Moss officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to Skyland Methodist Church in memory of Russell Zumstein. They may also be made to Warren Wilson College, C/O Mark Newman, Office of Advancement, CPO 6376, PO Box 9000, Asheville, NC 28825. Please note “Russell Zumstein” on the memo line. To make a gift online, please visit Under “designation”, choose “Zumstein Fund”.


Graveside Service: October 24, 2020 1:00 pm

Calvary Episcopal Churchyard
Hendersonville Road
Fletcher, NC 28732


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Memories Timeline


  1. I worked with Russell in operations at the Skyland Steam Plant when it was still owned and operated by Carolina Power and Light Company. Russell was a good moral man. He had the patience of Job. I enjoyed my short time in working with Russell and cherished his friendship. Gary, I knew you before I knew your Dad. I can say beyond a doubt, you had a good father. I know you will miss him. He and I had many conversations about you when working. He was rather surprised to learn that I knew you. Gain your peace through the Lord and His teachings!

  2. Our whole family loved Russ, especially grandson, Will, who spent time with Russ most Sundays before Sunday School. We admired him and his loyalty to family, friends and his church. Will and I visited with Russ in his home where we admired the medals he received yearly In recognition for his long years of excellence in his profession. It was an honor for all of us to know and love him. In sympathy and love, Alice, Bill, Will, Bill and Lisa Hart

  3. Mr. Zumstein was a wonderful neighbor and friend, and will be missed. He and dad walked many a lap around the road in their retired years and told old war stories along the way. I enjoyed stopping in and checking on him on my weekly trip to check on mom and dad.

  4. Thinking of you Gary & Linda and Janice & Mark during this time of loss.
    Sympathy and love,
    David & Donna

  5. My Dad, Ken Baldwin worked Mr Zumstein for several years at Carolina Power & Light they were good friends. I heard Dad speak of him several times. Thoughts and prayers for your family

  6. Mr. Zumstein has always been one of my favorite people, ever since the day back in the 1970s when he scared me when he came to the door dressed as the creature from the black lagoon for Halloween. I remember how kind he was to all of us “kids” back in the day. And, I always cherished our conversations when I’d catch him on one of his walks in recent years. My dad also worked with him at CP&L. I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. I absolutely loved Russel Zumstein. I went on his shift as a very young and ignorant auxiliary operator. There was very little slack time on Russel’s shift. We spent countless hours walking through the plant and learning each piece of equipment inside and out; or studying equipment manuals. He taught me that every little item had a purpose. He taught not as an authoritarian, but as a mentor and a friend. My success was his desire. I will always cherish our friendship.

  8. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zumstein family at this difficult time. Hold each other close and remember his impressive life with gratitude for all the love shared over the years.

  9. I always looked forward to seeing Mr. Zumstein at church. He always asked me what I was doing and would tell me what he had done during the week. He was a good and decent man who will be missed by all who knew him. My prayers are with the family.

  10. I worked with Russel for 30 years, there was no finer a man who walked this earth. He was a teacher and friend and was always there when needed. At Carolina Power and Light Co. power plant he was loved by all. Such a hard worker and great person. He will always be missed by the many people who new him.

  11. Gary and Janice, I have great memories of the friendship our parents shared. Your father had a sweetness about him. His love for your mother was beautiful. Now they can be together again. I know you cherish the memories.

  12. I will greatly miss my dear friend. His picture could be beside a description of The greatest generation. So humbling to have been a pastor to him and he taught me so much. He was my sons mentor during his confirmation year in sixth grade and no one could have been better.

  13. A wonderful person and friend to our family for many years. He worked with my dad and Brenda’s brother at CP&L for many years. Our years at Waterville were special memories. He spent many hours in the tomato field and on the front porch talking to family. We loved him so.

  14. Janice, saddened to read of the passing of your dad. Will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Gary, Linda, Janice and Mark, I was so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. He was a kind and gentle man who was always fun to be around. He always made me feel special whenever we would get together for his birthday. Judging by how you all turned out he must have been a pretty darn good father also. I look forward to seeing you all soon. RIP Mr. Zumstein.

  16. Russell was a faithful 33 continuous year member of our American Legion Post 2 in West Asheville where her served
    both “God and Country”. It was veterans like him who truly made this country great. He will be missed. We would
    like to send a special poem that will pay tribute. If Gary will send me his home address I will forward a copy to him.
    Larry Fowler, Post Adjutant. American Legion Post 2, PO BOX 17805, Asheville, NC 28816-7805.

  17. In Loving Memory
    Russell Zumstein

    God saw he was getting old and tired
    And a cure was not to be
    So He put his arms around him
    And Whispered “Come to Me”
    With tearful eyes we watched him suffer
    And saw him fade away.
    Although we loved him dearly
    We could not make him stay.
    A golden heart stopped beating.
    Hard working hands to rest.
    God broke our hearts to prove to us
    He only takes the best.

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