Russell P. Sweet ’44

Russell P. Sweet ’44 died on August 10, 2016, in Simsbury, Connecticut.

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Russell Prescott Sweet, 93, passed away on August 10, 2016. He was born on December 23, 1922 in Medford MA, the son of Lillian LeBaron Sweet and Walter Nelson Sweet. Russell came from a musical family and became an accomplished trombone player, a passion that brought him great enjoyment throughout his life. An excellent student as well, upon graduation from Medford High School in 1940, he enrolled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He continued to play trombone in dance bands while at college, though his college career was shortened to 3 years to get him and other young men involved in the war effort more quickly. While at Bowdoin, Russell met Madeleine Booth of Damariscotta Mills, Maine, who was attending Radcliffe College, and the two fell in love. Russell served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946 as captain of a gunboat in the South Pacific, and Madeleine wrote a letter to him nearly every day, letters which he kept until his death. Following the end of the war, Russell married Madeleine in 1946 and they started a family that would total five sons and one daughter. Russell went to work for Travelers Insurance Company that same year, and he worked there for forty-one years, interrupted by two additional years of service in the Navy during the Korean War. At Travelers, he rose to the rank of Senior Vice President and frequently traveled internationally in the final years of his career. Madeleine and Russ settled in Simsbury, CT in 1953 where they raised their children, staying in their second home there from 1963 until earlier this year. They were founding members of St. Albans Church, and Russell sang in the choir for many years as well as serving on the Vestry. During retirement, Russ and Mad enjoyed traveling, and Russell continued to play his trombone until just weeks before his death. Russell is survived by Madeleine, his wife of 70 years, his son Russell and his wife Kathy, his son Julian, his son Tim and his wife Elaine, his son Curt and his wife Jeanne, his son Jon and his wife Nora, and his daughter Eliza. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren and 4 great grand-children all of whom were able to attend a wonderful family reunion in his honor on Memorial Day weekend 2016. He is remembered as a private person, gentle and kind, fond of facts, figures and history, a very disciplined person who never complained even as his illness progressed, and a man who was devoted to his family. He will long be remembered and greatly missed.

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