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Obituary for H. Kent "Russ" Russell
Local poet H Kent “Russ” Russell, aged 91, passed away Monday, April 13, 2015, at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, with Barbara at his side, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Russ was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 24, 1924. On his 18th birthday he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and served in the South Pacific during World War II. Upon his return to the U.S. he had a four-year football scholarship awaiting him at San Jose State College, in California. He played all four years and still holds football records at the college. Upon his graduation he was drafted to play professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, due to his being a member of ROTC during his college career he was called back into military service. He then served in Korea during the Korean Conflict. When his military career ended he went into the export business. He traveled the world in this endeavor. Russ moved to Brookings in 1989 with his wife Marjorie Schultz Russell, whom he had married while in college. Marjorie passed away from cancer in 1991. Russ became active in the Pelican Players, Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Brookings-Harbor Garden Club. In 1993 Russ and Barbara DeMoss started a new life together. They traveled throughout the U.S., danced at Jazz Festivals from Victoria, Canada, to Medford, Eureka, and Coos Bay every year. When they were in town they danced every Monday night at the Elks. They were co-chairpersons of the Botanical Garden for many years and were instrumental in the starting of the native section of the garden. Russ’ main love in his life was dancing, gardening, writing poetry and children’s books. He was named Poet Laureate of the Brookings-Harbor Garden Club in 1996 and wrote poems of all garden club events. Russ will always be remembered by his willingness to recite a poem, whether it be for children during the holidays with his special poems, or just a jingle on Mother’s Day to whomever he saw that particular day to make their day a little brighter. He always had a poem ready. Russ is survived by Barbara DeMoss, the love of his life for 23 years, of Brookings; his twin brother Hayes Russell and sister Marie Knetzer, both of Pittsburgh. Brothers Bob, Don, and Frank Russell and sister Anne Russell predeceased him. Barbara would like to thank all the aides at Sea View Brightcreek Unit for the special loving care they all devoted to Russ during his 20-month stay with them. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Russ’ name to Brookings-Harbor Garden Club, P.O. Box 7588, Brookings, OR 97415. Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net