David Bates Russell, Sr. - April, 1913 - December, 2011

SPRINGFIELD - David Bates Russell of Springfield passed away on Dec. 12, 2011, at age 98. Although Dave was born in Erie, Pa., in 1913, and later lived in Syracuse, N.Y., his Vermont roots go back seven generations. In 1923, his family returned to the Russell homestead in Shrewsbury, Vt., realizing a longstanding dream. There, Dave acquired his love of farm life. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1932.

During college, Dave worked summers at Jones and Lamson in Springfield, running the company's last Hartness turret lathe. Over the next 51 years, he worked at J&L, Lovejoy's, Bryant's and Bryant Computer Products as a machinist, draftsman, methods man, liaison engineer, cost estimator and personnel administrator.

Dave married Marjorie Blodgett in 1941. In 1944, the Russells bought a farm on Parker Hill in Springfield and raised their family there. Dave farmed full time for five years in the late 1940s and later continued to farm nights and weekends after going back to work in the shop. Over the years, he divided his spare time among dairy farming, raising horses, square dancing with Precision Valley Squares and playing a variety of musical instruments. He retired from Bryant's in 1978.

Writing was always important in his life. A collection of his poems entitled "Verses from a Vermont Hilltop" was published in 2005. In addition to writing poetry and keeping daily journals, he published articles about the history of Shrewsbury, Vt.

Dave is survived by Marjorie, his wife of 71 years; his son, David B. Russell Jr. of Burlington, Mass.; his daughters, Patricia R. Saylor of South Windsor, Conn., and Marjorie R. Raymond of Chardon, Ohio; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff at Springfield Hospital Special Care Unit for the wonderful care they have provided. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Springfield Humane Society, 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156; or to the First Congregational Church UCC, 77 Main St., Springfield, VT 05156.

A memorial service will be held at the Congregational Church in Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vt.

Rutland Herald Obituary and Guest Book [1]

In Memory of David Bates Russell Sr. - Memorial Service Slide Show Photos

A Note from the Russell Family

2011-12-21: The Russell family would like to thank the community of Springfield, Vermont and the many friends, acquaintances and readers of his poetry who have reached out from across New England, the United States and abroad to offer condolences and remembrances. He touched and inspired us all, and he will be sorely missed. We ask that you celebrate his life and memory through acts of simple kindness, compassion and love for your families, neighbors, friends and strangers in need of a helping hand.

We will be publishing the complete set of 200+ photos compiled for his December 17th memorial service in Springfield and will update this website with links and information about how to obtain copies of "Verses from a Vermont Hilltop" after the holidays.

Bless you all and Merry Christmas - The Russell Family

Other Mentions

Tribute to a member of the "Greatest Generation" - David Bates Russell (Springfield Historical Society)

[1] Thanks very much to the anonymous donor who arranged to have the guest book kept online! (pst... it was Cherry Russell who done it. Thank you, Cherry.)