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Edward Russell Koeniger, III

August 15, 1949 August 2, 2015
Edward Russell Koeniger, III
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Obituary for Edward Russell Koeniger, III
Although we were all shocked and deeply saddened by his unexpected passing, God was not surprised; in fact it was according to his plan for Russ’ life.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16.

Russ was born on August 15th, 1949 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He was the oldest of four children, born to Edward Russell and Constance Abbot. Russ spent the earliest years of his life on the East Coast. During this time Russ’s appreciation and love for the outdoors, family and God began through activities with his father and extended family. He was a loyal son, a big brother, a jokester, (and a tease to his sister), a Boy Scout, and a lifeguard. Russ became an Eagle Scout and a counselor at Boy Scout Camps.

Russ’ adventures in Colorado began when his father (Pop) accepted a job there during the last half of Russ’ senior year of high school. He was in the first graduating class of Arapahoe High School and continued his education at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado. After he graduated, he went on to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. This is where Russ and Debbie met. While he was sitting in the back of the room failing a political science class, the professor suggested he pair up with Debbie, in hopes she could help him pass the class. Thankfully, she did and their relationship quickly bloomed into a romantic one. They both graduated on May 29, 1971, married one week later on June 5th, and one week after that Russ left for Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego. Although he never saw combat, Russ was a proud marine in the active reserves for six years.

Following boot camp, he returned to Colorado to look for work related to his political science degree. He found a job quickly but soon realized a career in politics was not for him. The opportunity to get into the oil and gas industry happened when Russ lost his job, while Debbie was in the hospital having just given birth to Nate. Russ began going door-to-door in downtown Denver looking for employment. Tom Yancy recognized his potential to be a Landman and offered him a job with Amoco where he worked for several years before moving on to other companies. He was in the business for more than 40 years and had developed many professional working relationships and personal friendships. Most recently, Russ was working with PDC Energy. Many of you were impacted by Russ in his professional life. He always said he had the best job in the world, mostly because he loved his colleagues.
Beyond being committed to his profession, Russ was a devoted family man. He learned from his dad the importance of family bonds, maintaining close ties to his mother, siblings, and the many extended family members living back East. Russ and Debbie have three sons: Nate, Ryan, and Kevin. Russ loved his role as a father, teacher, and mentor. He wanted the boys to know how much they were valued and loved. Russ made it a priority to spend time with them, whether he was teaching them to hunt, fish, and backpack, or attending school programs, concerts, and games. Russ was blessed to see all three sons trust their lives to Christ and follow Him. He celebrated their marriages to loving women: Michelle, Wendy, and Dannah. Like many parents, he was especially thrilled at the arrival of grandchildren. Lauren, Luke, Teddy, and Maiah held a special place in his heart. One of his favorite activities was having sleepovers with them and cooking Star Wars pancakes or waffles covered in whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles. He delighted in watching his sons become loving fathers as they interacted with their children (except when Kevin taught Teddy to go down the stairs head first).

Early in the morning on Sunday, August 2nd, Russ passed away peacefully in his sleep from High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. He was doing one of the things he loved, enjoying the outdoors. He was on a backpacking/fishing trip in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, accompanied by his son, Nate and his close friend, Glen Moore (Nate's father-in-law). They were camped overlooking a picturesque mountain lake at nearly 11,000 feet. Russ spent the day fishing, praying, and reflecting on how much God had blessed him. He said, "I had a perfect day!" We know this now because he talked about that day over a campfire with Nate and Glen before he went to sleep. His last words were, "Sleep well. We'll get 'em tomorrow."
Russ accepted Jesus as his Savior in college while dating Debbie, but it is clear God’s hand was directing him throughout his life’s journey – he would be quick to tell you so. The family receives great comfort in knowing, by faith, that Russ is with the Lord and death is not the end. He will be remembered for many things, especially his positive outlook. Russ lived with tremendous energy and passion. He invested his time, talent, and treasure in relationships and focused on serving others; he touched many lives. We are all better people for having spent time with Russ or even just having known him. By God’s grace, Russ left this life exactly as he would have chosen, peacefully in his sleep.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Royal Family Kids Camp ( and/or The Denver Seminary ( Russ was actively involved in both of these organizations.
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Previous Events





5:00 PM 8/12/2015 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 8/12/2015 7:00:00 PM
The Chapel at Ellis Family Services

13436 West Arbor Place
Littleton, CO 80127

Viewing and gathering for friends.

The Chapel at Ellis Family Services
13436 West Arbor Place Littleton 80127 CO
United States

Funeral Service




2:00 PM 8/13/2015 2:00:00 PM
Waterstone Community Church

5890 South Alkire Street
Littleton, CO 80127

There will be a reception immediately following. Everyone is welcome to join our family in the celebration of Russ' life.

Waterstone Community Church
5890 South Alkire Street Littleton 80127 CO
United States

Memorial Contribution

Denver Seminary

6399 South Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120

Royal Family Kids

3000 West MacArthur Blvd., Suite 412
Santa Ana, CA 92704

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