Obituary: David Russell, 96

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The following obituary appears on the website of Wakefield's McDonald Funeral Home:

David Elmer Russell, 96, of Wakefield, passed away on January 22 at Lifecare Stoneham.

David Elmer Russell was born December 9, 1916 to Theresa Burns Russell and Elmer Augustus Russell in Milford, New Hampshire. When he was five years old his family moved to Wakefield from Malden. He attended the Hurd School, the Lafayette School (now the Town Hall) and graduated from Wakefield High School Class of 1934.

The day after graduation from high school he went to work for his father at the Russell Badge Manufacturing Company in the Taylor Bldg. in Wakefield. The New England Badge and Novelty Company was started in the family home and in 1934 the name was changed to the Russell Badge Mtg Company.

He joined the US Army in 1942 and served in the European Theatre of Operations for 18 months in the combat engineers as a Staff Sgt. He was discharged April 5, 1946.

When his father died in 1948, David took over the management of the business. For a span of 47 years until 1981, David was owner and president of the Russell Badge Mfg. Co. Inc.

David was secretary of the Rotary Club for eleven years and wrote "The Cog" newsletter. He also served on the Wakefield Chamber of Commerce Personnel Board. David was also a member of the Lynn Village Drum band for 10 years as barrel bass drummer; the drum-band marched at the New York World's fair, colonial Williamsburg and in local parades. The Lynn Village Drum band also appeared on the televised show "I've Got a Secret."

For 72 years, David was a master mason of Golden Rule lodge, AF + AM Wakefield.

David was a member of The First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield for 59 years and served as a Deacon of the Church and on many committees.

When he retired, David enjoyed volunteering at the Boston Regional Medical Center (New England Memorial Hospital) in Stoneham. For 14 years, he volunteered in the Emergency Room, where his daughter Susan was a nurse. David made many friends by handing out payroll during his 6 a.m. shift.

David could be seen riding around Wakefield and the surrounding towns on his three-speed red Schwinn bicycle. Over the years, he pedaled over 30, 000 miles on his bike.

David was the husband of Geraldine (Findlay) Russell with whom he shared 61 loving years of marriage. In addition to his wife, he leaves a son David John Russell and his partner Miriam Dumaine of Hollis, New Hampshire, and daughter Susan (Russell) Croft and her husband Harold of Reading, MA.

He also leaves grandchildren Kelsey and William Russell of New Hampshire and Vermont, Jeffrey Croft and his wife Zeemel of Bedford, New Hampshire, Erin (Croft) Graves and her husband Lloyd Graves of Melrose, Massachusetts, Rebecca Croft and her partner Tom Giardino of Falmouth, Massachusetts and Dr. Peter Croft and wife Kristen of Portland, Maine.

Great-grandchildren include Lily and Annabelle Giardino, Jackson and Joelle Croft and Lloyd Graves IV. David also leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife Muriel (Woodbury) Russell and his son William (Woodbury) Russell and his late brother William Bryant Russell.

Dave loved to keep busy and his hobbies included volunteering, traveling, hooking rugs, playing cards, and acting as handy man to his family. He also loved to sunbathe in the backyard and his favorite food was chocolate.

A funeral service will be held in the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 3-7 pm.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018.


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