In Loving Memory of John Gibson Russell
February 06, 1928
Mount Vernon, NY
April 21, 2020
Spear-Miller Funeral Home
39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824
Greenfield Hill Congregational Church
Celebration of Life
Date to be determined
Timothy C. Russell Endowed Fund, University of Denver
2601 E Colorado Ave,
The Russell Family Fund in Memory of Stephen C. Russell ‘84
Choate Rosemary Hall,
333 Christian Street,
John Gibson Russell
John Gibson Russell, born February 6, 1928, passed away at the age of 92 in the early morning hours of April 21, 2020 in Fairfield, CT.
John was the only child of J. Thomas Russell and Frances Gibson Russell and the grandson of Charles Robert Gibson, founder of the CR Gibson Company, Norwalk, CT. He grew up in New York City on the top floor of the Weylin Hotel on East 54th Street where his father was managing director. As a child, John was a proud member of the Knickerbocker Greys Cadet Corps, based out of the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. He attended the Browning School, Choate Rosemary Hall (C’46) and Yale University (C’50). After graduation, John was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Corp of Engineers and served in the Korean War. Upon discharge, he joined the CR Gibson Company, retiring in 1987 as executive vice president. John then found his second calling, working for his alma mater, Choate Rosemary Hall. He volunteered his time as the Reunion Chair for numerous C’46 reunions, and he worked for Choate on a part-time basis until 2013, overseeing the School’s endowed annual fund program, managing the Headmaster’s Leadership Council, and eventually becoming the informal “overlord” of the School’s annual report of giving. John was most proud of establishing a singularly unprecedented rate of giving for the Class of 1946: an unbroken string of 100% participation for 26 years and counting. John was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni Association in 2015.
In addition to working for Choate, John was very involved with the Yale Class of 1950, serving as class agent and editor of numerous class directories. He was also President for close to 50 years of the Chester House Association in Bromley Village, Peru, VT.
John loved life in every sense of the word. He got his greatest enjoyment from connecting with family and friends, both near and far, traveling the world and taking pictures. He was at his best reaching out and talking to people. John was an active member in the Comedy Club of Fairfield, CT in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Circumnavigators Club, the Fairfield County Hunt Club, the Fairfield Beach Club, the Yale Club of New York City and the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church.
John is survived by his son Doug and wife Janet of Cambridge, MA, his daughter Betsy Milicia and husband Joe of Fairfield, CT, six grandchildren, Chip (Alyssa), Johnny (Teresa) and Laura Russell, Sarah, Kelly and Allison Milicia and great granddaughter Eloise (age 5 weeks). He was predeceased by his wife of 54 years Thora Carr Russell, his two sons, Tim and Steve and Doug’s first wife, Mary.
Interment will be private at Oaklawn Cemetery in Fairfield, CT. A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held at a later date at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church when it is safe for family and friends to gather. In celebration of John’s life, memorial contributions may be made to the Timothy C. Russell Endowed Fund, University of Denver, 2601 E Colorado Ave, Denver, CO 80210 or the Russell Family Fund in Memory of Stephen C. Russell ‘84, Choate Rosemary Hall, 333 Christian Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. To leave an online condolence, please visit, www.spearfuneralhome.com.