Cover photo for Russell Scott Riano's Obituary
Russell Scott Riano Profile Photo
1958 Russell 2024

Russell Scott Riano

January 27, 1958 — April 17, 2024

Dinuba

                                                                                           Russell Scott Riano
                                                                               
                                                                                           January 27, 1958 — April 17, 2024 


         Russell was born at Alta Local Hospital in Dinuba, CA, to Cedric and Violet Riano. Growing up as the oldest of three children on the family ranch, Russ developed an interest in farm machines, a talent for diesel mechanics, and a love for big trucks. After finishing high school in 1976, the call of the open road was too great to resist. Russell eagerly began his professional driving career and proudly visited every state in the continental U.S. Alongside his time as an over-the-road long-haul driver, Russ continued to progress his skills and expertise as a mechanic, ultimately earning him a position he loved as a Journeyman with Peterbilt. While working on diesels with Peterbilt, Russ further realized both his mechanical aptitude and a kindling entrepreneurial spark. With over a decade of experience, he parted with the company to embark on his first small business venture, Russell’s Truck Repair. Offering mobile roadside repair in his signature service truck, Russell loved helping people out of bad situations every bit as much as the challenge of the mechanics themselves. As the entrepreneurial spark grew into a blazing ember, Russ decided next to test the waters as an owner-operator, purchasing his very own 1981 Peterbilt 359, a truck that eventually became a celebrated showpiece. Featured in Overdrive magazine for his thoughtful and extensive rebuild, Russell’s 359 was a complete and comprehensive overhaul, both under the hood and inside the sleeper. Russ continued to tour the United States corner to corner with his faithful co-pilot, Booboo the chihuahua, blazing the interstates and leaving no backroad unexplored. After many years of traveling the open road, Russell began a new chapter with his high school sweetheart, Debbie Fisher. Finally reunited, Russ and Debbie created a new life together, sharing a love that was destined to be. Returning to Dinuba and moving across the street from his childhood home, Russ enjoyed frequent visits and a rich companionship with his parents during their twilight years. 

          Russell had a deep passion for motorcycle adventures, relishing the freedom of the ride. His journeys often led him to Hollister and Morro Bay, where he found solace in the winding paths and scenic landscapes. A dedicated member of the Central Valley Independent Riders, Russ forged many lifelong friendships with his fellow bikers. Russell helped organize the club’s annual Christmas toy drive and eagerly anticipated the chance to spread joy to needy children. 

          Music was another of Russell's great loves, with Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, and Aerosmith atop his playlist. His taste in movies leaned towards comedy, with classics like National Lampoon's Vacation, Funny Farm, and Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure tickling his funny bone. 

          In his spare time, Russ indulged his creative side, constructing scaled models and taking to the skies with remote-controlled airplanes. Always the innovator, he could often be found in his garage concocting new tools or fine-tuning engines for farm equipment and cars alike. Russell took pride in restoring several near-antique tractors to show-worthy examples of living history. His affinity for the outdoors was reflected in his active retirement, where he managed an organic farm and delighted in cultivating life from the earth. 

          Russell's sweet tooth was legendary, craving old-school Little Debbie snacks and the classic comfort of homemade peach pie. He loved sharing silly stories and boisterous company over holiday meals with his family. Russell’s favorite homecooked dish was bierocks, and when dining out, his go-to meal was a chili verde quesadilla from Esperanza's Mexican Restaurant in nearby Cutler. Ever a classic man, the direct route to Russell’s heart was through his stomach. 

          Russell is survived by his loving father, Cedric, cherished daughter, Victoria, devoted brother, Steve, and beloved sister, Lori. He will be deeply missed by his nephews and niece, Griffin, Connor, Nicholas, and Jill. He is preceded in death by his dear mother, Violet, and Debbie, the love of his life. 

          Private interment services will be held by Russell’s immediate family. Kindly consider donating to the Independent Riders 7th Annual Toy Drive this Christmas, a cause dear to Russell's heart. Your generosity will honor his spirit of giving and continue his legacy of spreading joy this holiday season.
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