Richard Brevard Russell III, entered this world on January 31, 1930, as the third child of Robert Lee Russell, Sr. and Sybil Nannette Millsaps Russell. He left this world on October 20, 2016, shortly after 5:00PM, or “cocktail hour”, as he would have said.
Richard was a caregiver to many people throughout his life. His interest in others and their well being was a driving force in his life. He was a passionate man whose faith in God, as well as his love and devotion to family and friends was of upmost importance.
Surviving siblings include Betty Russell Vandiver (Ernie, pre-deceased), Betty Ann Russell (sister in law) and Ina Russell Ingram (Jim, pre-deceased) Richard was preceded in death by his brother, the Hon. Robert Lee Russell, Jr.
Richard’s greatest pride and joy was his wife of 65 years, Nancy Patricia Randolph Russell (Pat). Ever the social butterfly, perfect hostess and homemaker, Richard said that she “made him look good”.
Being her primary caregiver for many years as her memory slowly faded from him, Richard continued to be the love and romantic for Pat as she struggled. When he could no longer care for her at home, he visited her regularly, at her facility, where she still resides.
He is survived by four children, nine grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren, with #11 due in January. His extended clan of cousins, nieces and nephews and their families made his life even more complete.
His children are Vickie Russell Smith (Mike), Bethlehem Ga, Tandy Russell Green (Craig), Jacksonville Fl, Nannette Russell Kallestad (Eric) Winder Ga and Kitty Hawk NC, and Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. , Winder Ga. His grandchildren are Justin Hall (Brigit) Caren Pulliam, Jennifer Curell (Craig), Robert Green (Becca), Emily Wells (Mark), Cedric Jernigan III (Amy), Baxter Russell, Mollie Russell, and Emory Russell.
Richard attended Darlington School in Rome Ga, where he developed friendships that he upheld with devotion throughout his life. He graduated and went to work for the summer helping to construct the Alaskan railroad.
Upon return, he attended Davidson College, The University of Georgia and graduated from The School of Law at UGA with a Juris Doctor Degree. He practiced law in Winder, Georgia, served as Superior Court Judge for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, and entered into private practice in the 1960’s with the Hon. T. Penn McWhorter, which was the beginning of a long and fulfilling personal and professional relationship, with Judge McWhorter.
The firm ultimately expanded over the years to include other prominent attorneys, including his son and namesake, Richard B Russell Jr.
He served in the Georgia Army National Guard as Commander of Winder Infantry Company and was honored to do so, maintaining relationships with local guardsmen he had the honor to serve with. Richard was graced with his heritage and legacy of being the namesake of the late Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr.
He was the epitome of a gracious Southern gentleman who behind the scenes, managed many of the needs and requirements of the Senator’s local personal life and later his estate, their very large family, the family home, and Russell Family cemetery.
Richard assisted with establishing the Russell Family Cemetery Trust which is the catalyst that is used today to honor Sen. Russell’s request that the home, grounds, and cemetery be used for family use and reunions for many years to come.
Richard spent a lifetime of Sundays at First Presbyterian Church in Winder where he and Pat would sit together with other family on the exact same row each visit to worship.
Richard engaged in community service and political endeavors, serving as both Barrow County Attorney and Barrow County School Board Attorney, as well as providing legal counsel to corporate presidents and industries, and local farmers and the agricultural community he so loved.
He stood up for his beliefs and causes and staunchly defended them, when needed. His stern appearance was somewhat intimidating and he was a force to be reckoned with to those who were in disagreement with him.
When not practicing law, Richard enjoyed working on his land and managing his herd of cattle. He could change from business suit to coveralls in record time. He enjoyed freshwater fishing, hunting, and driving his “Jeep” on trails in the woods, often including his children and grandchildren.
Richard and Pat also valued their time and friendships in Islamorada, Florida, where they maintained a second home for over 30 years.
Richard was happiest during those years, on his boat with his fishing buddies, Dr. John Castronuova, Sal Tucci and others, as he mastered their saltwater fishing techniques.
Richard was a man of “lists”. A legal pad and ink pen were a requirement for his vehicle, office, and bedside table. So much in fact, that we considered writing his obituary in bullet points. He would have liked that.
Richard’s memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Winder, Ga on Saturday November 5, 2016. Visitation will be 1-3PM at the church, with coffee and dessert. The service begins at 3:00PM. Richard requested cremation with a private burial at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Winder, Ga or to Eagles Ranch Children’s Home in Chestnut Ridge, Ga. Smith Memory Chapel in Winder, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.smithmemorychapel.com.
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