Services & Events
Petersen Lund Funeral Home
January 7, 2013, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church
January 8, 2013, 1:30 PM
St. John's Lutheran Church
January 9, 2013, 1:00 PM

Russell Duane Piehl

February 5, 1964 - January 2, 2013


FOREST CITY - Russell Duane Piehl, age 48 of Forest City, died Wednesday, January 2, 2013. He died north of Ventura, Iowa as a result of a medical helicopter accident.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM, Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City with Pastor Rod Hopp officiating.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 PM, Monday, January 7, 2013 at Petersen Lund Funeral Home, 505 N. Clark St., Forest City and continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Funeral services will also be held at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at St. John's Lutheran Church, 641 Lincoln St., Denver, IA. with Pastor Larry Feldt officiating.
Visitation will be held at noon at the church.

Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Denver, IA.

Russ was born on February 5th, 1964, in Waterloo, Iowa. He was the son of Burton and LaVonne (Scharnhorst) Piehl. He graduated from Denver Community High School in 1982. During his senior year, he started his EMS career as a first responder with the Denver Ambulance Service.

Over the course of the last 30 years, Russ worked at various ambulance services across the state of Iowa, also as the Director of EMS Services in Algona. He later became the EMS Manager for training and education at North Iowa Area Community College. He was also a current member of the Forest City Ambulance Service. In 2007, Russ found his true passion as a Mercy Air Med flight paramedic in Mason City, Iowa. In addition, Russ also served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, most recently as a board member for the Iowa EMS Association.

Russ was an avid Green Bay Packer fanatic and shareholder. He enjoyed spending countless hours on his Harley, boating on the lakes of North central Iowa, golfing and spending time with his wife and children, as well as spoiling grandchildren and being the best "Bumpa" there is. His true passion was his ability to use the gift that God gave him, helping others in times of need and crisis, touching countless lives throughout his career.

Russ is survived by his wife, Melody Piehl; and children, Kayla, Jesse, Tricia, Brandon, Courtney and Cassie, grandchildren Kaiden and Zoe. Brothers-Gregg and his wife Vicki Piehl, Doug and his wife Colleen Piehl, Bruce and his wife Betty Piehl. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, Burton and Lavonne Piehl, and grandparents Martha and Edward Piehl and Herbert and Ida Oberheau.

"The three most important things in life are God, family and the Green Bay Packers in that order"-Vince Lombardi


My sincere sympathy to the Russ Piehl family. May the Lord comfort you in your tragic loss.
Thoughts and Prayers, Johnny Holm
Jan 10, 2013 Johnny Holm
To the Piehl Family, the medical community, the Denver High School Class of 1982, and everyone else whose live was touched by Rusty...may you all find comfort and peace knowing he died a hero doing what he loved. My heart aches for you all! Rusty got his start in lifesaving as a lifeguard at the Willow Run Swimming Pool in Denver which I practically lived at all those summers for years. He was a great friend; someone who you could easily talk to about anything and it didn't matter who you were or where you came from, he always was nice and very genuine. May God Bless you all as you find comfort and peace with your loss of such a wonderful guy!
Jan 9, 2013 Julie
To the family of Russ,
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I worked with Russ at Waverly Hospital and was saddened by his sudden passing.
Jan 9, 2013 Barb Ripley
So sorry to hear about Russ' passing. What a sincere funny man. May God be with the family and friends in dealing with the loss of Russ.
Jan 8, 2013 Joel Rathe
Family of Russell Piehl,
Our hearts are still heavy after hearing the news of the loss of Russ and his collegues aboard Mercy Air Helicopter. Russ was a classmate of Denver, a neighbor from Tripoli, a former EMT crew member, a sports fanatic, and a wonderful friend. Russ was a person who had the gift for making people forget their troubles, he would have you laughing before you knew it. He will remembered in the hearts of those lives he touched. Our sympathies to all the staff at Mercy North Hospital and EMS services as well. Kathleen (Spears) Kuecker
Jan 8, 2013 Kathleen Kuecker
I feel like as if I lost a brother. I Russ flew as a Paramedic on a flight crew for several years in Iowa. Although I never had a chance to meet Russ...reading about his background and love for EMS as a Paramedic really hit home. Saving lives...and risking your own to do so tells it all about this fine man. My prayers go out to the entire family for your loss. May God Bless...and he will!!
Jan 7, 2013 Greg Hunter
I went to school with Russ and was also on the Waverly ambulance crew for a while with him. You will be truly missed. My heart goes out to your family, friends and everyone who's lives were touched by you. Rest in peace and know we will all meet again.
Jenay (Mundt) Berk.
Jan 7, 2013 jenay berk
I did not know Russell. I work at Mercy and have seen him in the hallways And he always looked happy with life and work. Gods love and blessings to you all. He will truely be missed by us all.
Jan 7, 2013 Gwen Leiws
Russ was a fellow co-worker with me in the past and he was one of the best I have ever met. Not only did he have a love for EMS he showed what a great person he was in caring for his family and friends as well. Along with the Greenbay Packers!! He gave me confidence and courage in myself and reminded me why I do what I do when times were tough and I lacked it. My heart aches for Mel, his kids, grandkids, and family. He loved what he did and made a difference in so many peoples lives and really is a true hero. I will miss you my friend.
Jan 7, 2013 Tami Swanson
Mel and family.
I'm so sorry for your loss being sudden it was shock I just wanted you to know how sorry I am and since can't be with you to send you thoughts and prayers. Your cousin Rita Woodley
Jan 7, 2013 Rita Rockhold Woodley
Our thoughts and prayers with the families and friends of Russ Piehl. Russ & I ministered to one another when I was pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Congregation in Tripoli. He attended to my father when dad had complications from congestive heart failure. Robert Salge, Pastor Emeritus, Sacramento, CA 95828.
Jan 7, 2013 Robert Salge
To the family of Russ,
Sending many thoughts and prayers to you during this time. Russ was a outstanding man and will be missed by many. Blessings to all of you as you reflect on his life and love.
Tiffany Groves
Jan 7, 2013 Tiffany Groves
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I have been thinking about you alot lately.

Jan 7, 2013 Jessica Williamson
Russ was my emt trainer at Hawkeye. I didn't know him personally, but he was a kind, generous, fun person. I remember he noticed once when I was sad. He didn't hesitate to ask me in confidence what was wrong. I was just his student. It was very kind. It is something I have never forgotten. My sympathies to his wife and children.
Jan 7, 2013 a mcsherry
I am a better person for having had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Russ. He was a very special individual and a true professional and will be missed.
Sincerest sympathy and God's blessings to his family,
Spike and Lori Condon & Family
Jan 6, 2013 Spike Condon
Sincere sympathy from the Richardson Family,
Dave, Rosalie, Laurie Schuman, Brad & Bruce.
Jan 6, 2013 David Richardson
For some moments in life, there are no words, this is one of those times that words do not exsist to express our grief for the loss of our friend, and our sympathy for his family.
The EMS community lost a faithful, loyal, deticated Paramedic, who's shoes will be tough to fill. He left an imprint on many lives.
Russ, we will miss your laugh, your humor, your friendship~we still had more bike trips to take, and more conversations over a cold beer to have, instead we will hang on to the great memories we made. Though your life was cut short, our lives were enriched by having shared your friendship. Til we meet again, rest in peace dear friend.
Jan 5, 2013 Dale and Kelly Rayhons
My prayers go to Russ and his family. I will always remember a great IEMS confrence spent with him. As hard as it is to say - he died well and with honor.
Jan 5, 2013 Brad Fletcher, (Booker)
Dear Mel, You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jan 5, 2013 Jan Leonhardi
thoughts and prayers to your family Russ and I took emt class together in waverly in 1991.
Jan 5, 2013 Kelly Bolton
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, personal and professional, of the Mercy Air Med Helicopter crash. The loss of our friends in an air ambulance crash in August 2011 help us understand the emotions and empathize with you during this most difficult time. May God grant you peace, strength, and comfort in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

Sincerest condolences from your brothers and sisters in emergency services from Missouri.

Chief L. Corey Sloan, EMT-Paramedic,
Cameron, MO Police Department
Jan 5, 2013 Chief L. Corey Sloan
I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to the family of Russ. He died doing what he loved to do. I remember Russ from CMC. I'm glad he got his dream job. May God comfort you and give you strength during this difficult time. A fellow Flight Crew Member @ AirCare in Waterloo. Connie Niemeyer
Jan 5, 2013 Connie Niemeyer
Mel, my heart goes to you. I think of you many times a day and am praying you feel God holding you at this very painful time you are in my thoughts and prayers Judy Christensen
Jan 5, 2013 Judy christensen
I remember Gwen saying you and Russ are like brothers and I hadn't even met him yet. After I did, she was right. Though I hadn't seen Russ in some time I think of him often and some of the best times in my life were shared with him. I am stunned by this and do not have the words to say to his family how sorry I am. He will be missed by everyone who ever knew him. I will keep his family on my thoughts and heart.
Jan 5, 2013 Pat McGee
With deepest sympathy, I had the pleasure of working with Russ through EMS for Kossuth County and him helping our crew stay a crew. He was a great person and an awesome Paramedic. I was always relieved to see him show up so I could transfer the care of my patients. He will be truly missed. I had a great talk at State Conference last year with Russ. Prayers for the family- from all of Titonkas Ambulance crew.
Jan 5, 2013 Amanda Heyer
Mel - My heart goes out to you and all of Russ's family. He had a zest for life and loved what he did. May the good memories give you great comfort.
Jan 5, 2013 Grace Freeburg
Melody and family, as a member of EMS, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers and thoughts. I wish there were something that I could do for you all. I too met Russ through IEMSA. He was a great person. May God bless each and every one of you. Sincerely, Belinda Adkins, Wayne County Hospital Ambulance, Humeston Emergency Responders.
Jan 5, 2013 Belinda Adkins
As a fellow flight Crew Member I know Russ loved his job as much as I do. I remember Russ when he worked at Covenant. Always smiling and loving what he did. God be with his family and all the families who have suffered in this loss.
Jan 5, 2013 Linda Burrage
Mel and family,
You are all in my thoughts and prayers! Another angel went to heaven! God bless!
Jan 5, 2013 Kristy Johnson
Mel and family, I am so sorry for you loss. I worked with Russ in Algona, he was an amazing mentor and friend. His presence will be sadly missed.
Jan 4, 2013 Linda Studer
Praying that God will bring you peace and love. Russ will forever be missed. I went to school with him at Denver and I can't imagine what you are all going through. Russ was amazing and our world will be dimmer without his engaging smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Karen Wittenburg Gienau
Jan 4, 2013 Karen Gienau
Mel & Family,
My sincere condolences for your loss. I met Russ thru IEMSA, and really enjoyed his antics, humor, and stories. He truly loved EMS, and it showed! I will miss him deeply. Our thoughts and prayers will continue for Russ and his loving family. He died what he loved doing. God's Peace.
-Tom Summitt, IEMSA Board/Muscatine Fire Dept Ambulance
Jan 4, 2013 Tom Summitt
Mel and family: My deepest sympathy goes out to all of you at this most difficult time. May God be with u....lean on your faith and God will help you through this...
Jan 4, 2013 Veronica Earles Poncin
I am sending my you my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your husband I will surely keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Diana Sundve
Jan 4, 2013 Diana Sundve
It is with deep sadness that I come on this site to say goodbye to a fellow EMS provider but one must find peace knowing he died doing what he loved. May God take him in his arms and hold him in our Heavenly home. In Gods Love Kevin Dorr EMT-P Director Bayard Ambulance Service
Jan 4, 2013 Kevin Dorr
I knew Russ as a fellow confirmation leader at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly. My daughter, Nicki, was a member of his confirmation small group and loved Russ dearly. He was a very caring, kind, and fun man. All of his group loved and respected Russ and his ready admission of his faith,

Donna Andreessen, Waverly
Jan 4, 2013 Donna Andreessen
I knew Russ as a fellow confirmation leader at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly. My daughter, Nicki, was a member of his confirmation small group and loved Russ dearly. He was a very caring, kind, and fun man. All of his group loved and respected Russ and his ready admission of his faith,

Donna Andreessen, Waverly
Jan 4, 2013 Donna Andreessen
Our town lost one true hero. Always remembered by putting others first at all times. He was an amazing guy and made thee beat food. you will never be forgotten. always will you be in our hearts Russ. you always knew how to put a smile on anyone's face if it was doing your packers dance or makin your awesome milkshakes and bacon! you will b greatly missed. Ik your looking down smiling and keeping your family safe. But just know I'm going to keep Cassie out of trouble. You were an unbelievable stepfather to those girls! thanks for everything Russ! Cassie and family: r in my thoughts and prayers! Love you guys!
Jan 4, 2013 Emily aitchison
Greg, Doug, Bruce and family. I'm so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful friend and neighbor. I'll always remember the friendship I had with Rusty. He will be greatly missed. Thinking of you at this very difficult time. Sandy Brunscheion-Wolff
Jan 4, 2013 Sandy Wolff
Our deepest condolences to the entire Piehl family. Russ had a heart of gold and truly loved what he was doing in life. He will be missed by many.
Jan 4, 2013 Jeff and Tammy Graham - Waverly
I, too, remember him as Rusty. I was friends with one of his brothers, the memories make me smile. I have enjoyed getting to know him again the last couple of years through Facebook. His love for his wife, his children and grandchildren was obvious. And lets not forget The Packers! His love for God was also obvious. May that love give you peace and comfort as you mourn, knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. God Bless You
Jan 4, 2013 Sharon
I am so sorry for the pain you are having to go through Russ was a wonderful caring individual that will be deeply missed! Please know that thoughts and prayers go out to you and the entire family. Katrina Altenhofen, IEMSA, Bureau of EMS
Jan 4, 2013 Katrina Altenhofen
To the entire family, Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time and forever. Rest well Russ, Good and Faithful Servant. Peace Cal & Karen Corson
Jan 4, 2013 Cal & Karen Corson
Russ, Godspeed and tailwinds. To the family, May god comfort you during this time. EMS have a gap that will be hard to fill. Sorry for your loss.
Jan 4, 2013 Todd and April Lewis
Russ was our family's angel in the sky on July 7, 2012 and he forever left footprints on our hearts. My sincerest sympathies to his family, friends, and co-workers.
Jill Heinen and family
Jan 4, 2013 Jill Heinen
My sincere condolences to Russ' family and friends. I had the pleasure of working with him at TRMC in Fort Dodge for several years. He was a respected colleague, a talented paramedic, a wonderful teacher, and had a heart of gold. The world is a little less bright without him.
Jan 4, 2013 Heather Armstead
My sincere condolences to Russ' family and friends. I had the pleasure of working with him at TRMC in Fort Dodge for several years. He was a respected colleague, a talented paramedic, a wonderful teacher, and had a heart of gold. The world is a little less bright without him.
Jan 4, 2013 Heather
I am so truly sorry for the unexpected loss of your loved one, Russ. I have no words to express how difficult Iknow this time will be, just know that others share your sorrow.
Jan 4, 2013 Sandra, Jeremy & Wanda Blessing
My deepest symphathies go out to the family of Russ. He was a great boss and I enjoyed working with him through the NIACC EMS program.
Jan 4, 2013 Bruce Carr Family of Floyd
We are so very sorry, there are no words for your loss. we remember Russ from the Denver school years, when he was called Rusty, which I am sure he would not of like now, our prayers, thoughts and deepest sympathy with all the family. Leo and Ardis Macal, Decorah, Iowa
Jan 4, 2013 Leo and Ardis Macal
Words can't express the sorrow Kraig and I feel. Russ was a very wonderful friend. Russ' friendship meant so much. His family has our deepest sympathy. We will truly miss him. Kraig & Kathy Thilges , Algona, IA
Jan 4, 2013 Kathy Thilges
We want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of Russ. We have known him for years. Have not seen him since he moved to Forest City. He was in EMS for years and was dedicated to his profession. Our prayers are with the other families of this accident. MaryAnn and James Diesburg New Hampton
Jan 4, 2013 James Diesburg
I can speak on behalf of all of KRHC staff - Russ was a wonderful co worker, friend, and awesome paramedic. You will be missed by your old family at KRHC and your Mercy family as well. A true "angel in the sky" before and after his tragic accident.
Jan 3, 2013 Kelly Rahm
To Russ family I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless You!
Jan 3, 2013 Mary Studer
We'd only known Russ since Dale & Kelly's wedding, but it was long enough to know he was a super guy & a great cook. SO MANY have praised him as a Paramedic--fortunately, we never needed his services in that professional role. Our hearts ache for his family, co-workers and all who knew him.
Savor the memories!
John & Karen Monson
Jan 3, 2013 Karen Monson


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Date and time
Monday, Jan 7, 2013
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Petersen Lund Funeral Home
505 North Clark St.
Forest City, Iowa 50436
Date and time
Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013
1:30 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church
246 South Clark Street
Forest City, Iowa 50436
Date and time
Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013
1:00 PM
St. John's Lutheran Church
641 Lincoln St.
Denver, Iowa 50622


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