Russ passed away in his sleep on January 12, 2023, at The Gardens of Trent in New Bern. He had been a patient there for one month.
He was born January 9th, 1939, in Smithfield, N.C. to Nelda and Solon Cotton. He was preceded in death by his parents and his mother and father-in-law, Gladys and John Harper. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Sandi of 61 years; his daughter, Kim; his son, Rusty (Fran); and his three grandchildren, Brin, Lindsey, and Will Cotton.
Russ graduated from Red Springs High School in 1956. He was a post graduate of Randolph-Macon Military Academy in Front Royal, VA, in 1957 where he played football and baseball. He then attended Davidson College for 4 years and graduated in 1961. In his freshman year he was selected as Outstanding Freshman Athlete.
Following in his parents’ footsteps, he began his career in education and served as teacher/coach, principal, and assistant superintendent. In his 38 years he served in many N.C. school districts and received many honors and awards. He ended his tenure as superintendent of Pamlico County Schools in 1999. At his retirement he was awarded The Order of The Long Leaf Pine by Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr.
Thankfully, the superintendency of Pamlico Co. Schools brought us back home. Russ always had an affection for Pamlico County where he once lived. He was a dedicated educator and felt that was his “calling”.
The family will receive friends and relatives from 2 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, January 15th at Daniels-Sadler Funeral Home. Private interment will be held in Amity Christian Church Cemetery.
May he rest in peace and know that he was well loved by faculty, administrators, friends and family.
Flowers are appreciated or contributions in his memory may be made to one’s favorite charity.