Russell Andrew Biette

Russell Andrew Biette 1931 – 2022 CARY, N.C. – Russell Andrew Biette, passed away Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, 2022, in Cary, North Carolina. Russ was a Mainer through and through. Regardless of where his address may have directed the mail in a given year… he was always a Mainer at heart: a salesman, a storyteller, a committed husband, and someone who would take charge and either fix it or build it himself. He was most at home with his family, his dog, telling stories, and on the water. Russ was born June 2, 1931, in Brunswick, Maine, to Leo and Regina Biette. He attended Brunswick High School, Portland Junior College, and graduated from Portland University. He was a scout, served in numerous clubs, acted in plays, served as President of Phi Delta Sigma fraternity in high school, and president of Portland University’s first fraternity, Alpha Rho Omega. He served as a Corporal in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for training and then at Fort Bliss, Texas. Russ learned to cook from his mother. He said she was a good cook and he said that while she could take a piece of meat and ruin it in five minutes, she could also take a bag of flour and five minutes later create the best pastry you’ve ever seen in your life. Growing up in The Great Depression, he recalled many hard times but he described his mother, Regina, as “a very religious woman, but she just took the world as it hit her.” Even in the hard times, he recalled, “she would just bounce back.” When his father, Leo, took over the farm around the time Russ was born, there was no money, but they made do with cows and chickens, selling eggs and making buttermilk and 50-60 pounds of butter per week. Russ sold medical equipment which moved the family to Murrysville, Pennsylvania in 1965 when he was named district manager of the Pittsburgh division of Brunswick Corporation. They would live in Murrysville for more than thirty years, raising their daughter and two sons. He was proud of his role selling the earliest pacemakers and computer equipment to doctors and hospitals across the globe. Ever a salesman, even in retirement he decided to become a realtor and sell homes. On Sept. 22, 1956, he married the love of his life, Agnes “Aggie” Flaherty. Russ built their first home nearly by himself at the top of a hill in Pennellville, Maine. Later, he would build a cabin in Deep Creek, Maryland entirely by himself where they enjoyed spending time with their kids and grandkids on their boat, “The Busted Budget”. He enjoyed being with friends, cooking, and entertaining. Once on a business trip, he discovered a fancy restaurant in New Orleans, Brennan’s. He took the menu home and every year would cook a replica “Breakfast at Brennan’s for the neighborhood.” He would often cook with his grandkids, teaching them how to make crepes and cakes and treats. He and Aggie loved spending time with their grandkids, taking them on trips, traveling to see them, and playing games. Throughout his life, he was a storyteller. He just had an ability to tell stories – to any and everyone. He is often remembered as simply telling stories and making people laugh. He is preceded in death by the love of his life Aggie, who passed in January of 2020. They have now reunited again just in time to enjoy their 66th wedding anniversary, surely holding hands and embracing again just as they did for more than 60 years on earth. He is survived by: his brother, Robert Biette of Brunswick Maine, his sister, Louise (Peter Hawthorne) Mack of Naples, Maine, daughter, Donna (Jim) Elmore of Lincoln University, Pa., two sons, Steve (Cathy) Biette of Carmel, Ind., and Doug (Beth) Biette of Cary, N.C., 10 grandchildren, Michael (Candice) Biette of West Orange, N.J., Diana (Jerrod) Nolting of Carmel, Ind., Kelly Biette of Boston, Mass., Jennifer (George) Kowalski of Philadelphia, Pa., Katy (Jeremy Keller) Biette of North Bend, Wash., Matthew (Karen) Elmore of East Brunswick, N.J., Leo (Sydney) Biette of Memphis, Tenn., Sean Biette of Greenville, N.C., Brian (SommerAnn McCullough) Elmore of Philadelphia, Pa., and Sarah Biette of Westfield, Mass., and six great-grandchildren, Isla Elmore (4), Harold Biette (4), and Celia Nolting (3), Isabelle Kowalski (2), Thomas Biette (1), Eric Elmore (2 months). Funeral arrangements in Portland, Maine are to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

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