Russell was born in American Falls, Idaho on October 26th, 1918 to Mary Emily Kite (Setzer) and Arthur T. Kite. He died on November 12, 2016, peacefully at home after a long illness. He was 98 years old.
Russell spent his childhood years in Northern California, mainly in Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area cities. He graduated from San Leandro High School in 1936.
When the threat of WWII came he trained as an arc welder and worked in the ship building industry. After the war began he enlisted in the Army Air Corp becoming a Lieutenant and serving in the Army Transportation Corp and as a navigator stationed in the Philippines.
After the war he met his future wife Madeline Schlecht in Pueblo, Colorado and they were married in Reno, Nevada on June 12, 1946. Russell worked at various jobs for a period of time and then attended San Francisco State, graduating in 1951.
In December of 1951, their first son John Edward was born followed by another son Mark Allen in November of 1953. During this time he was a Recreation Director with the Vallejo, CA housing Authority.
The family returned to Pueblo, CO. because Madeline’s father was ill and they wanted to be close to his in-laws. At this time he went to work for the Bowman Biscuit Company. He then was promoted to Branch Manager in Casper, Wyoming. After a few months, Russell took a job with the Jewel Tea Company and they returned to Colorado, now settling in Greeley. In July of 1957, a daughter, Georgiann was born.
Becoming dissatisfied with his working conditions, Russell returned to college part time and obtained a teaching credential and a position with an elementary school in Rifle, CO.
The family left Colorado and settled in Napa, CA. in 1963. Russell obtained a teaching position at Phillips Elementary in August of that year. He then returned to SFSU in the evenings and earned his MA degree and Administration Credential, after which he was promoted to Principal at Phillips Elementary.
During his 25 year career he worked at Carneros Elementary, Phillips, Salvador, Irene Snow, Shearer and Napa Junction. He also spent one year as the Vice Principal of the Napa Adult School. He retired in 1988 at the age of 70.
Besides teaching, Russell was an avid reader, enjoyed bowling, was an active member of his church the Napa Valley Center for Spiritual Living and was a life long fan of football, even playing some while in College and High School.
He is survived by his daughter Georgiann of Napa, his son Mark (Christine) of Shingletown, CA, nephew Wayne (Cathy) of Auburn, CA, niece JoAnne Graham of Sonoma, CA, grandsons Paul (Steven) of Rancho Cordova, CA, Eric, Robert, Sean and Nicolas and granddaughters Tracey and Teresa. He also leaves behind great-grandchildren Jordan, Mason, Savannah,Devin, Shaylynn, Brendan, Andrea and one great-great grandson Michael.
He was preceded in death by his wife Madeline, son John, his parents, his sisters Helen and Lina and his brothers Wayne and Earl.
A celebration of his life will be held in early 2017.