Russ will sadly be missed and I am sorry to miss his service.
I first met Russ at AT&T over 25 years ago in Atlanta (Breckenridge) working in the Computer Systems Division. Russ, Mark Mitchell, Al Schuetz, Paul Sommers, and M.O.M were part of an amazing group of individuals at AT&T that I was blessed to work with. Back in that office the group of us were participating in the incubation of the Internet Age. We had all been trained by AT&T/Bell Labs and given the tools to creatively use new methods of electronic communication and data processing. We acted as a SWAT team showing organizations what was possible through AT&T (and other) innovations. Building on that experience we were exposed to a new work culture with AT&T's acquisition of NCR and Teradata. I still remember how Russ surprised us back then by announcing he was moving to Columbia, SC to work for NCR before the rest knew where we would end up. (Doug Fears has the other half of that story.)
Since that time Russ and I had more occasions to work together. Russ worked on hundreds of big company projects and his contribution was a key ingredient to the success of those projects. He was instrumental along with his co-workers in demonstrating the art and science of computing using techniques unknown to our customers. Many people personally benefited from the work Russ did including myself.
Through the years Russ became an Icon in the Information Technology Industry through his dedication, ability and tenacity. His skills were nothing short of amazing and his work moved many organizations forward. More importantly his smile and attitude and steady hands were key to helping transform the world we live in through data (and apparently shrimping, crabbing, shucking, and fishing).
Russ often spoke about your family and I am greatly sorry for your loss. Clemson has also lost a great fan. I was fortunate to see Russ one last time in Atlanta last month. He had a smile on his face. I was looking forward to meeting up with him again soon but will have to wait a while longer. I am thankful he was in our life.