The ACHA remembers former W1 and W2 Commissioner Erin Russ

Erin Suzanne Russ, age 46, Minneapolis, MN passed away peacefully on Monday October 17, 2022 following a short battle with Stage 4 Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Erin was born in San Mateo, CA on November 16, 1975 to the late Suzanne (Kostka) Russ, and the late William Russ. She grew up in Little Chute, attending St. John’s Grade School and was a graduate of Little Chute High School. Erin’s love of architecture started in her early childhood years…. Erin obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Architecture with a minor in Geography from University of Minnesota (1993-1998), where she developed a love for Hockey. She played for the Women’s Ice Hockey Club. Following graduation Erin interned with Bentz, Thompson, Rietow (BTR) Architecture in Minneapolis. She went on to obtain her Masters of Architecture & Urban Planning Degree from UW Milwaukee (2001-2005). Upon graduation, Erin returned to Minneapolis and BTR Architects. One of Erin’s proudest accomplishments was becoming a Registered Architect, with LEED AP designation. Anyone who knew Erin also knew that she was an avid volunteer- from making fleece beds and transporting animals for pet rescues, volunteering at BackPack Project MN, to becoming President of the Camden Collective- a non-profit organization designed for neighbors to help neighbors. She organized and volunteered at food shares, coat drives, and other events to support her neighborhood. Erin is survived by her sister, Anne Russ; favorite cousin, Sara Kostka; friend, Kaia Ellis; special friend, Ron Kuslak. Erin was a proud godmother to Alyssa Janssen and Teagan Ellis. She is further survived by aunts and uncles: Janet Ertl, Bonnie Hartjes, Marianne Schmidt, Gerard “Jardy” Kostka, and Florence Kostka, and numerous cousins, other relatives and friends. In addition to her parents, Erin was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents Paul & Harriet (Verkuilen) Kostka; aunts and uncles: Tom Ertl, Gerald “Spec” Hartjes, Dan “Butch” and Beth Kostka, Mary Kostka, Donald Kostka, Millie & Paul Gailey, Gary Kostka, Bob Wildenberg, and Bob Schmidt. A Celebration of Life for Erin will be held at the Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home, 101 Canal Street, Little Chute, on Saturday October 29, 2022, starting at 12:00 noon and concluding with a service at 2:00 p.m. For online condolences, please visit For online condolences, please visit: www. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Backpack Project at The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the nursing staff and doctors at Methodist Hospital St. Louis Park, MN for their compassionate care of Erin during her final days. Erin – I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that you are gone. I do have some comfort knowing that you are pain free and up in heaven with mom. Thank you for being a wonderful, kind, caring and loving big sister. I want you to know that I am so proud of all your accomplishments and the wonderful work you have done over the years. I will cherish all of our adventures but so wish we could have had many more years together. Love your bossy little sister.