George A. Russell III, of West Des Moines, IA, often referred to as “Russ” was born May 8, 1947, to George Albert and Ruth Ann Russell, in Boston, MA. As a son of a Navy officer, he grew up all around the United States, landing in Champaign, IL, where he met his bride of 56 years, Patricia (Phillips) Russell. Together Trish and George had three children, Elizabeth, Bert, and Abbie. In 1970, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and obtained his professional engineering license. After graduating, he went on to pursue a career in civil engineering while obtaining his master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1973.
George retired as the Vice President of Operations and Distribution after 25 years at Northern Illinois Water. He went on to become a full-time partner with McClure Engineering Associates, Inc. as their Chief Water Manager for an additional 20 years. Upon completing both careers, George loved to travel with his beloved wife Tricia – traveling the globe to many destinations. He often stated, “I wish I had retired sooner” and he would document each trip to share with friends and family. George was an active member of Rotary International joining in 1976 until present where he earned a Paul Harris Fellowship. He was the President of the Macomb Illinois Rotary Club from 2008-2009. George was a lifelong learner who enjoyed continuing education. One of his favorite pastimes was playing games with his children and grandchildren, especially bocce ball, Farkle, and Sequence. He was an avid golfer, an amateur photographer, a travel enthusiast, and loved fishing at the beach.
He is survived by his wife Tricia Russell of West Des Moines, IA; his children, Elizabeth Russell-Kittl of Moline, IL, George A. Russell IV (Martha), of Kansas City, MO, and Abbie Paul (Corey) of Urbandale, IA; grandchildren Elle Ade (Ben) of Moline, IL, Ethan, Garrett, and Camryn Paul of Urbandale, IA; great-grandchild Margo Ade of Moline, IL; siblings Frank Russell (Linda) of Dallas, TX, Ruth Ann Vaughn (Darrell) of Pleasant Hill, MO, Andy Russell (DeAunn) of Lee’s Summit, MO and many nieces and nephews. George was preceded in death by his parents Ruth Ann and George A. Russell II.
The family will greet friends from 10:00 am until the beginning of the Celebration of Life service at 11:00 am on Friday, May 13, in the Chapel at Lutheran Church of Hope (925 Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines, IA) with a luncheon following in The Bridge. If you are unable to attend in person you may watch the live stream of the service here: http://hopeonline.tv/specialevents
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in honor of George Russell. You may direct them to: JDRF, PO BOX 37920, Boone IA 50037-0920.