Russell Garrison ’53

Russell Garrison went to be with the Lord on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Born in Charlotte, N.C. on April 15, 1931, he was the son of the late James Herbert and Blanche Bost Garrison, and was also preceded in death by his son, James Garrison; daughter-in-law, Kim Garrison; his daughter, Julie Cervilla; and son-in-law, Jack Cervilla.

He grew up on a farm near Pineville, NC where his father and grandfather raised cotton, corn, and cattle.

Russell graduated from Davidson College in 1953 with a degree in Economics.

After living in Florida to help rebuild the Homestead Air Force Base, Russell moved with Blythe Brothers to Colonial Heights, VA. He helped build the Toll Road (Interstate 95) from Petersburg to Richmond and also was the project manager for the construction of I95 south of Petersburg. Russell became a Project Manager for B.P. Short & Son Paving, where he retired after 40 years. Russell was on the Virginia Road Builders Board and also served as President in 1985. He was appointed to the Contractor- Engineer Joint Co-op Committee in the late 80’s and served as chairman for several years.

Russell became a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Petersburg in 1956 where he served as an Elder, member of multiple committees and taught Sunday School.

Russell was an avid quail hunter and was devoted to restoring the population of Bob White Quail in Virginia. This interest led to an appointment to the Game Commission, part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He also loved to saltwater fish and was appointed to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and served as the co-chair of the Fin Fish Committee.

He loved his church, his family, his dogs, and his boats. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Eleanor; his daughter, Janet Newcomb and her husband, Glenn Newcomb; grandchildren, Russell Kelley, Jake Cervilla, and Jennifer Newcomb Hess; and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at Second Presbyterian Church, 419 W. Washington Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Wednesday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Second Presbyterian Church. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard. Online condolences may be registered at