G. Russell “Rus” Nykvist of Westwood, MA passed away peacefully with his family by his side on January 6, 2024, at the age of 81. An incredibly strong and positive man, he bravely dealt with both multiple myeloma and congestive heart failure. Despite these health challenges he lived a rich and full life up until a few days before his death. He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his family and friends.
Rus was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. In his early years he lived in the city. Later the family moved further out to a more rural area where his dad could garden, and Rus got to raise chickens. He was always excited about the number of eggs his chickens laid.
Rus proudly served in the Army and spent time in Germany. After completing his service, he was employed as a sales engineer for Reliance Electric which brought him from Niagara Falls to Boston where he met and fell in love with Anne, his loving wife of 52 years. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. He next joined Lovejoy Inc. where he worked as a sales engineer until retirement. He loved driving to clients all over New England and New York but always spent Fridays in his home office.
Rus had a quick wit and had many hobbies. He enjoyed playing cards, collecting coins, and hiking, but his true passion was bicycling. He rode in every season and kept meticulous yearly logs of his miles. His proudest biking accomplishment was completing RAGBRAI, a bicycle ride across Iowa and the largest bike touring event in the world, with his brother Rob and his cousin Dave Macaulay.
Rus enjoyed vacations at Newfound Lake, NH every summer for fifty years. While at the lake he loved taking his children, Kristen and Jonathan, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He and his wonderful friend Dave Homer had countless hiking adventures together, completing many of the 4000 footers. The highlight of every Newfound Lake vacation was his annual bicycle ride around the lake.
In their sixties Rus and Anne began traveling. They enjoyed many fabulous trips with friends. They traveled to Italy, France, Spain, Alaska, and the National Parks in the Northwest and Southwest United States, and the Canadian Rockies. Rus also loved a local adventure. He and Anne would often hop in the car and find a scenic destination to explore. Most recently their adventures took them to their grandchildren’s sporting events. He and Anne could be found at cross country meets, field hockey games, track meets, soccer games, and flag football games.
Rus was the beloved husband of Anne (Santino) Nykvist. He was a devoted father to Kristen LeVangie and her husband, Robert, of Medfield and Jonathan Nykvist and his wife, Lauren, of Dedham. He was the loving Grampy of Kyle, Anna, William, and Elisabeth. He was the cherished son of the late Frederick and Marie (Heiman) Nykvist and the dear brother of Ruthie Wilkinson and her husband, Jimmy, of Nevada City, CA and Nancy Underwood and her husband, Scott, of Denham Springs, LA. Rus was a dear uncle to Matthew Jones and his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Everly, of Sacramento, CA. Sadly, he was predeceased by his two younger brothers, William and Robert Nykvist.
Visitation will be held at the Holden-Dunn-Lawler Funeral home, 55 High Rock Street, Westwood, on Friday, January 19, from 9:30-10:30 am, followed by a funeral mass at 11am at St. Margaret Mary Church, 845 High Street, Westwood. A burial will follow at New Westwood Cemetery. Family and friends are warmly invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rus’ name may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (https://development.themmrf.org/).