Donald F. Russell ’48 died on January 27, 2021 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
(The following was published by Driscoll Funeral Home on January 27, 2021)
Donald Fredrick Russell of North Andover, MA, formerly of Needham, MA, and Sarasota, FL, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2021 at High Pointe House in Haverhill, MA at the age of 93.
Don was born May 21, 1927 in Roslindale, MA, to parents George and Marion Bolster Russell. Don was a wonderful son, husband, father and grandfather with an inquisitive mind and a love of conversation. He grew up in Needham, MA, graduated from Needham High School and went on to attend Bowdoin College, where he played on the varsity baseball team. In 1947, as a junior, he enlisted in the US Navy as a radar operator, and recalled that he was stationed on “a slow boat to China.” After his discharge from the Navy, he attended summer school to graduate on-time with his class in 1948. He then joined his father in the wool-import business before working for Procter and Gamble as a sales representative, then began a long career in the life and disability insurance business with Loyal Protective Life and Minnesota Mutual. In 1953, he met Margaret Allen, of Richmond, VA, then a flight attendant based in Boston, on a blind date. They were married in 1955 and had two daughters, Janet and Cindy. They lived in Needham, where Don was a town meeting member and member of the finance committee. After Marge passed away in 1986 he reconnected with classmate Joan Whetton while planning their 50th high school reunion. They were married in 2001, and lived in Marblehead, MA, and Sarasota, FL. After Joan’s passing in 2011, he moved to Edgewood in North Andover, MA. Don had a keen interest in the stock market and spent hours daily reading about the financial markets. He was a lifelong skier, learning at the age of seven with his father and enjoyed many day trips as an adult with the “peanut butter ski patrol.” He enjoyed skiing in Europe and out West through his 70s, and his last ski trip was with his grandchildren at age 83. Don also enjoyed competitive tennis, golf, bridge, woodworking and loved to travel. Sundays at Edgewood were spent with his “Bloody Mary gang” and he became an avid ping-pong player in his later years. He is survived by his daughters, Janet (Tim) Guen of Exeter, NH, and Cindy (John) Knowles of Greensboro, NC, as well as his cousin Carole (Walter) Dainard of Ontario, Canada. He was also a proud grandfather to five grandchildren: Corey, Abby, and Tucker Guen and Allie and Libby Knowles. Don’s family would like to thank the staff at Edgewood for their kind care. The family also extends thanks to Lou Grimaldi for years of friendship, financial advice, and weekly conversations with Don.