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Local Death Notices

On Saturday, December 26, 2020, Russell W. Joki, Jr., loving brother and son, passed away at West Penn Hospital with his family by his side. He was 57.

Though he passed away at a young age, Russ was known to his family as “The Man with 9 Lives” because he dodged so many close calls during his lifetime. Among them he beat Non-Hodgkins Stage 4 cancer, a triple bypass, diabetic shock, as well as serious vehicle accidents. He was a fighter, but Russ finally lost after this final battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Now he won’t have to fight any more. He will be in heaven with the Lord.

Born on July 16, 1963, Russ was raised on the family farm in Finleyville, PA. He graduated from Ringgold High School and most recently lived in Monongahela, PA. In earlier years he worked as a handyman, a landscaper and a truck driver.

An ace chess player, Russ was known for his offbeat quick wit with one liners and living life to the fullest. Known for his daring antics in his younger days, he liked to be sociable and was a “talker.” He had a special bond with animals including a childhood pet hawk, a pet raccoon, and also dogs and horses. He enjoyed walleye fishing in Lake Erie.

Russ is preceded in death by his father Russell Sr. and is survived by his mother Ruth, his brother Darby (Carla), his sisters Leslie and Melody (Juan), his nephews George and Daimean, his Uncle Bob Baker, Aunt Joanne Joki and several cousins.

Due to COVID-19, Russ’ wake has been postponed until summer where those who knew him can gather in his memory to celebrate his life at a picnic on his beloved family farm. The family asks that in the meantime, you remember him in your own way.

If you so choose, you may donate in his memory to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at




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