James Rollo RussellGood-bye, Grandpa Jim RussellJames Rollo Russell, known to generations of Head Start students as Grandpa Jim, passed away on April 7, 2012. He was born in Salt Lake City on July 12, 1921 to Isabel and Rollo Fred Russell. He dropped out of high school to serve in the military (Army) during WWII, but, recognizing the importance of education, he earned his high school diploma at the age of 81.His vocation was with Utah Power and Light Company (Pacificorp). It wasn't until after his retirement that he found his true calling as an activist for the Community Action Program, especially Head Start. On October 23, 2007, The James Russell Head Start School was dedicated to him.He's also been a fixture at cultural and sporting events at the University of Utah as a key member of the ushering staff. He's been a baseball umpire, a basketball referee, and baseball coach. The service organizations in which he's participated are too numerous to list.Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, and his beloved grandson, Kyle. He is survived by two daughters-Julie Anna Russell Thornton (Scott Thornton), and D. Sharon Russell, two granddaughters-Anna Cristina Thornton and Cadi Sharon Russell-Sauve (John Waugh), as well as myriad nieces and nephews.Friends may call on Thursday, April 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East S. Temple. Interment, preceded by viewing at Larkin from 1-2 p.m. on April 13, will be at Salt Lake Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to participate in a Celebration of Grandpa Jim's life on Friday, April 13 from 4-6 p.m. at Northwest Multipurpose Center, 1255 Clark Ave (300 N). Please bring stories of Grandpa Jim to share, both written and verbally.In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Grandpa Jim's name to Salt Lake Community Action Program/Head Start.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company