Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Russel A. Bulin

April 29, 1945 - May 11, 2022
Saugatuck, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Russell Albert Bulin, aged 77, passed away at Spectrum Health Meijer Heart Center on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 from complications of a bleeding aortic abdominal aneurysm.

Russ was born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in the Chicago suburbs where he graduated from Hinsdale Central Township High School (Class of 1963) and from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Class of 1967).

Russ was a creative soul and began his art career at the age of three and just kept on creating art and parlaying that into businesses. After college, he founded Buhlwork, Inc. where he designed and built residential and commercial furnishings and interiors for companies such as McDonald’s, Portillo’s and Brunswick.

In 1989 Russ and his wife Paula made a move to Union Pier, Michigan where they renovated an old estate on Lake Michigan and together they opened The Pine Garth Inn and Cottages. In 2001, Russ and Paula renovated and opened the villa Madeleine Restaurant and Villas on the island of St. Croix, USVI. All artistry, furnishings and furniture was created by Russ in both the Pine Garth Inn and Villa Madeleine.

Russ is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Paula (Forbeck) Bulin, his brother Jeff Bulin (Nancy), niece Katie, niece Jennifer Bulin Larson (Carl), great-niece Maggie and great-nephew Jack and sister-in-law, Martha Bulin. He is also survived by sister-in-law Carol Forbeck (Steve Shirey), and niece Emma (Rob), brother-in-law Frank Forbeck with nieces Rachel Maxwell (Scott) and Melissa Kelly (Jim) and numerous great nieces and nephews. His parents, Joseph Albert Bulin and Phern Ella Bulin, as well as his brother, Ronald Joseph Bulin, preceded him in death.

In their 44 year marriage, Russ and Paula were never without multiple cats and or dogs; none of whom were actually invited, but made their childless family truly a home and were all dearly loved. Russ, in his retirement years here in Saugatuck had a booth at the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion and enjoyed buying and selling art, antiques and art pottery.

To the world Russ may have been one person, but to one person he was the world; a much loved, very talented, very funny precious man who will be so missed and remembered always.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Saugatuck sometime in June.