Sierra Summer Russell, 35 years old, devoted mother and wife, beloved daughter and sister, dear friend to many, and an unparalleled real estate attorney, passed away unexpectedly while recovering from a minor illness on February 22, 2018, at her home in Denver, Colorado.
Sierra is survived by her husband, Daniel Vagasky, and daughter, Inara; her parents Michele Russell and stepfather Dr. Jeff Barigian, and Kent Russell with stepmother Lin; her beloved brother, Clay Russell; her grandmother, Estelle Cohen; her aunt, Jules Cohen; her beloved dog, Zinnia; and countless best friends that Sierra would never distinguish from family.
Sierra was born in Nippinawasee, outside of Yosemite National Park, at home, on September 11, 1982 to Michele Russell, and was later adopted by her father, Kent Russell. She reportedly never lost an argument after age 5. Bossy, determined, but usually right and always loving. As the high school valedictorian at YHS, first in her class of City and Regional Planning at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and an Order the Coif member at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Sierra was second to none academically; she was incisively brilliant. Her academic and professional success was exceeded only by her infectious grin, ceaseless generosity, and supportive words of wisdom, which brightened the lives of the many dear friends who considered Sierra their rock.
Sierra’s untimely passing is an irreplaceable loss to her family and friends around the world; her clients and law firm, Hogan Lovells; as well as to the Rose Andom Center and Mile High Early Learning, where she served on the Board of Directors of each organization. All who knew Sierra are welcome to celebrate and memorialize her life from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at Idle Hour Winery/Queens Inn in Oakhurst, CA. Her ashes will later be laid to rest at a peaceful waterfall she held dear, near Cedar Valley, in the Sierra Nevada of California.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Sierra’s memory may be made to either Mile High Early Learning or the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. A college fund has also been established for her daughter, Inara, now one year old. Please contact family for more information on contributions.Russell's mountain memorial will be at Queens Inn/Idle Hour Winery, Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.