- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Edgar Gaines Russell, 96, of California died Dec. 7, 2012, at Solomons Nursing Center.
Born Nov. 28, 1916, in Gaffney, S.C., he was the son of the late Henry James Russell and Eliza Gaines Russell.
He married Ruth Hamilton Russell on Nov. 15, 1942. She preceded him in death on June 17, 2011.
He graduated from Berea Academy in Berea, Ky., in 1935 and also attended University College, University of Maryland.
During World War II, he served as a chief yeoman in the U.S. Coast Guard from Dec. 26, 1941, to Nov. 21, 1945. He was assigned to recruiting duty and later served aboard USS Bath (PF 55), a U.S. Navy Tacoma-class frigate and also aboard the USS Wakefield, a troop transport ship. He received an honorable discharge at the end of the war.
After the war, he was named and served as a member of the President’s Armed Forces Committee of St. Mary’s County and settled in Lexington Park. He was first employed in Lexington Park by the Federal Public Housing Authority as tenant adviser and housing project manager of the Lexington Park and Carver Heights Project from 1946 to 1963. These homes were also known as the “Flattops” and many of Lexington Park’s future leaders and businessmen first came to this area and lived there.
From 1963 until his retirement on June 30, 1972, he was employed by the Naval Air Test Station at Patuxent River Naval Air Station as training director and supervisor of technical training.
He joined the Lexington Park Lions Club in 1947 and was a tireless worker on the club’s behalf for all of his adult life. In August 2012, he received a 65-year service pin from the Lions. During the 1960s, he was active in youth programs and the St. Mary’s County Little League for 10 years. Always a doer, he worked with the Great Mills High School Band Booster Club and was chairman of the committee that raised money to purchase band uniforms in 1963. He was also a past president of the Ryken High School Association. He was a life member of the St. Mary’s County Elks Lodge 2092 and a member and past commander of the American Legion John K. Fogarty Post 162. He was also a Washington Redskins fan and season ticket holder from the early 1960s. In his later years, he would travel to the games with members of the Hogettes.
After his retirement in 1972, he and his wife enjoyed traveling in their camper and went on several cross-country trips. During the winter, they vacationed at their condo in Hallandale, Fla. He especially enjoyed boating, gardening and taking care of his property in California. He continued to do this until he was 93.
He is survived by his son, Wayne H. Russell and his wife, Penny W. Russell, of Fredericksburg, Va., and their children, Kevin W. Russell of Seattle, Zachary T. Russell of Fredericksburg, Nancy A. Call of Fairfax, Va., Cary P. Scharf and her husband, Bryan, of Fredericksburg, Thomas S. Call Jr. and his wife, Lindsay, of Fredericksburg. He is also survived by two great-grandsons, Nathan and Adam Scharf. He was the patriarch of the family and will be missed.
The family will receive friends Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown, where a funeral service will be conducted at 6 p.m. by the Rev. Joe Orlando. Interment will take place Friday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lexington Park Lions Club, 23293 By the Mill Road, California, MD 20619.