Walter G. Russell ’65

Walter Gardner Russell, age 73, of Biloxi, Miss., passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021. Walter was born on April 7, 1947, in Springfield, Mass. He obtained a bachelor degree from UMass Amherst. He was Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Peru, N.Y., and was a member of the Knight of Columbus. He was the Regional Director of the United Cerebral Palsy of the North Country. He was also the Director of Training at TW Express. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an Instructor Pilot, Squadron Commander and retired as Major. While serving in the Air Force he was awarded with Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Meritorious Service Medal. Walter was an avid dog lover. He enjoyed golfing, swimming and loved the NY Giants. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., where he was a first-round inductee into their sports hall of fame for being a team member of the undefeated boy’s football team in 1963. He is preceded in death by his parents, Aldea Russell and Leo Russell. Survivors include his spouse, Janet Russell; daughter, Noelle Russell Sanger; son-in-law, Luke Sanger; grandchildren, Felicity and Morgan Sanger; and pet, Mr. Puggers. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue in Biloxi at 1:30 p.m. Friends may visit from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The funeral service will be livestreamed on Facebook under Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Interment will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

4 thoughts on “Walter G. Russell ’65”

  1. This is very sad. There are so many from our class who have died recently. Somehow you’d think Walt would likely have been among the last of us to go. I guess it had to do with his being so down-to-earth, easy going and friendly. I remember last talking to him at the 25th reunion. We talked briefly about some of his flying missions. He was completely humble/matter-of-fact casual about it. Didn’t mention his distinguished rank, service record or any of the medals recited in the obit. Whoow — another one of the good guys is no longer with us.

  2. Walt was a good friend and classmate, laid back, unassuming. My best memories of Walt are making fun of Mr. Gardner’s English accent in Graphics class. Good for some laughs. I think that I played football with him on the Canary team before he advanced to the Varsity. Rest in peace, Walt.

    1. Walt blocked me so hard once in J.V. football practice I still remember the blow. I also remember straining with all I had to keep up with him in a hundred yard dash. Walt was tough as nails but with the kindest heart. He was an unforgettably good person, and I am truly saddened by his passing. Fly high bro.

  3. Grateful for his service to country….Huge sacrifices that Walt made no doubt…Special guy..Peace..

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