Richard A. Russell, 88, most recently of the Inn at Chapel Grove, Heath, OH, passed away on December 31, 2020. He was born October 9, 1932 in Potsdam, NY, to the late Florence and Leonard Russell.
Private burial will be held for the family. A celebration of life is anticipated in the summer of 2021.
Richard was born in Potsdam, NY, the youngest of 5. He grew up in Carthage, NY where it is often below zero with 3-4’ snow on the ground. He was an avid skater and cross-country skier. He loved playing hockey. He would downhill ski at the Snow Bowl in Colton, NY. He had a paper route for many years. He was the Drum Major for the West Carthage High School Marching Band.
Richard graduated from Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial College of Technology, now Clarkson University, in Potsdam, NY, in 1956 with a degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation, he worked in Columbus and Newark, OH, for the Ohio Department of Transportation. In 1966, he went to work for The Shelly Company, Thornville, OH, until his retirement in 1992. His ability with numbers was impressive, completing tabulations in his head quicker than someone with a calculator.
Richard and his wife, Marjorie (Leaning), were married in 1956. They lived in Columbus, OH, at first. Then, they moved to Newark, OH, in 1960, living on Granville Road and Pleasant Valley. In 1973, they moved with their children to Bridle Path Lane in Granville, OH, to a 40 acre “farm”. There they were involved in living off the land with a huge garden that Marge tended and cows, sheep, pigs, and a horse. Richard tolerated the animals but loved anything that required tools, big and small. He could be found rototilling the garden, mowing the fields, digging fence posts, cutting up trees, building a barn for the animals, plowing the driveway, or creating in his workshop.
Richard purchased a dairy farm in Hebron, OH, in 1987. His son, Scott, manages the farm. Again, Richard enjoyed working with the machinery, not so much the animals. He helped Scott build a state of the art milking parlor.
After Marge’s death in 2011, the house and property were more than he could handle. He moved to Kenwood Dr. in Newark, OH, in the fall of 2013. He made new friends there and was constantly “puttering” around the house and in the gardens. In May 2019, he moved to the Inn at Chapel Grove. Once again, he made new friends and enjoyed his time there.
Survivors include his children Scott (Janice) Russell, of Hebron, OH; Suzanne (Lance) Durfey, of Tupper Lake, NY; and Stephen Russell, of Newark, OH. He is survived by 6 grandchildren, Ranatta (Adam) Young, of Auburn, NY; Randee (Joshua) Steinke of Wapakoneta, OH; Samantha Durfey of Seattle, WA; Jennifer Durfey of Daegu, South Korea; Tyler Russell, of Columbus, OH; and Shannon Russell of Columbus, OH. He is also survived by 6 great-grandchildren, Jonah, Remington, Ryder, Judah, Rees, and Jacobee Steinke, of Wapakoneta, OH. Additionally, Richard is survived by Jeffrey’s longtime companion, Anne Woodward, of Haverhill, MA; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parent, he was pre-deceased by his wife of 54 years, Marjorie; his oldest son, Jeffrey; and his siblings and their spouses, Lois (George) Van Kuren; Stephen (Wilhelmina) Russell; Robert (Helen) Russell; and Ruth Metzger.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, Granville, OH; and/or Hospice of Central Ohio.
Arrangements are in the care of McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home, Granville, OH.
To send flowers to Richard's family, please visit our floral store.
Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio
P.O. Box 430, Newark OH 43058
Centenary United Methodist Church
102 E. Broadway, Granville OH 43023