Robert Stewart Russell, 73, Vero Beach

Robert Stewart Russell, 73, died Feb. 1, 2011, in Vero Beach after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bob was born in Coatbridge, Scotland on Nov. 16, 1937, to Lillias and Robert “Bert” Russell.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Barbara Roe Russell, of Vero Beach; son Robert “Stewart” Russell (Penny), of Marietta, Georgia; daughter Audrey Testerman (James), of Danbury, Conn.; Andrew Russell (Ryan), of Vero Beach; sister Irene Young (Wayne), of Talbott, Tenn.; brother James Russell (Marie) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and seven grandchildren – Taylor, Justin, Will & Aerin Russell and Todd, Kate and Jack Petersen

A prior marriage ended in divorce.

They immigrated to the United States when Russell was a child, shortly after World War II, developing their new life in Queens, New York.

He would often speak of the jobs he did as a child – a paper boy, the son of an apartment superintendent cleaning hallways and pulling dumbwaiters then his night job in the packing department of Black Starr and Gorham.

During this time he perfected his soccer abilities playing on many of the competitive club teams in the NYC area and later passed his love for soccer to his children.

Thirty six years in the Bell Telephone System began with New York Telephone, included several rotations to AT&T and ended with his final position in AT&T Network Systems (later Lucent) as vice president, marketing and sales.

Once described by a boss as one of the most creative people he knew and that you did not “supervise” Russell, you just rode along the creative wave he developed.

Russell was a leader in the mechanization of maintenance and repair systems within the Bell Operating Companies in the late 70’s and 80’s.

In his personal life, he was proud of his children – their educations, careers and families and he loved travel and his time with Barb.

He has coached competitive youth soccer, was on the Substance Abuse Council, worked with S.C.O.R.E. and loved telling stories.

In these last years, he received the kindness of many especially the Sunday breakfast group from Our Savior Lutheran Church, the Friday evening crowd at the Moorings, Stephanie of Hospice, caring Dillon, Dr. Shafer, Judi, Joanne Legg and others.

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, at 10 a.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1850 Sixth Avenue, Vero Beach, Florida.

A reception will follow in the church parish hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County, 2300 5th Avenue, Suite 150, Vero Beach 32960 or Hospice VNA of Indian River County, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach 32960 or a charity of their choice.

A guestbook is available at

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