Russ Myers Fabrication Center Dedication
On January 24, 2018, the Duluth East Daredevils dedicated their machine shop to Russ Meyers. Russ was a mentor for the Daredevils and joined them from 2011-2017. Russ worked with the Archer brothers at Archer Racing restoring and working on cars of all sorts, from antiques to race cars. Russ took an interest in the Daredevils and wanted to help them build better robots each year. He opened the machine shop at Archer Racing to the Daredevils and helped them fabricate the parts needed for the robot each year. Although a good system was set up for robot building, Russ never stopped pushing for a machine shop at Duluth East High School.
In the winter of 2017, Russ was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Russ stayed strong, and visited the Daredevils as much as possible as they built their 2017 robot. Knowing Russ, it was hard for him to be just sitting at home without his hands getting dirty in a car or something the team needed fabricated, At the DECC competition in March 2017, Russ received the Woodie Flowers Award, which honors a mentor for all of their help and support to a team. Russ was more than deserving for this award. 2016 was the Daredevil’s first year fabricating their entire robot at East, and are currently in the process of fabricating their 2018 robot.
Russ passed away July 1st, 2017 after a hard battle with cancer. Although he is gone, and no longer here to mentor the team’s new students, he still lives on. Russ’ consultant and friend, Steve Loudin, took interest in the Daredevils as well, seeing what Russ was doing for the team. Steve said, “Russ meant so much to me,and knowing what the Daredevils meant to him, I knew I wanted to honor him in some way. This is why my wife Kit and I decided to start the educational fund in honor of Russ and his wife, Kathy.”
Russ taught students skills to last a lifetime as shown in Daredevil’s mentor and former team member, Tucker Johnson. Tucker graduated from East in 2015 and was on the team for four years. Tucker was Build Team Captain for three years and was mentored by Russ. He is currently attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), as well as mentoring the Daredevils. Tucker fixed the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine in the fabrication center in time to cut out some pieces for the 2017 robot. Tucker works hours and hours with the CNC machine, cutting parts needed for this years robot, just like Russ would have done.