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John "Bud" Russell

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John "Bud" Russell Obituary
John "Bud" Russell

Dec. 7, 1929

July 24, 2012

Bud Russell, beloved husband of Stella; brother, father, grandfather, and friend, died at the age of 82 in Reno, Nevada, on July 24, 2012. Born in Oklahoma City on December 7, 1929, Bud moved in the mid-1940's to Long Beach, CA. In 1946, after graduating from St. Anthony High School, he joined the army and served in Japan. Returning to Long Beach, Bud worked for several marketing/ distribution firms and established Gabler/Russell & Co with Rod Gabler. In 1986, Bud moved to IGT in Reno as VP; appointed CEO in 1988 -1995 when he retired. In 1995, John Klacking wrote "under John Russell's guidance IGT introduced reel slots that dominated the market… also instrumental in IGT's introduction of the progressive slot machine." While Bud was at IGT the company increased from 600 to 2700 employees. He implemented profit-sharing plans, bonuses, stock options, 401(K) plans, and on-site child care. After retirement from IGT, Bud served on several boards and was involved in programs that helped youth fight drugs and homelessness. Charles Mathewson, Emeritus Chair IGT, a close friend of Bud's for 67 years, remarked, "Bud and I were lifelong friends, he was greatly responsible for IGT's growth and success." Bud was generous and charismatic, he truly cared about people. He loved life; loved his dear wife Stella, his family, and friends. He enjoyed living in Reno, "Reno is the finest community I have ever lived in."

Preceded in death by his parents, Emma Josephine (O'Neil) and John Russell, Bud is survived by his wife Stella; brother Tom Russell (Virginia Beach, VA) (Nan); children: Michael Russell (Judy); Kathleen Russell-Gordon; James Russell (Barbara); Mary Russell; Rebecca Pastor (Joe); Ellen Russell; John Russell; Christopher Russell (Ally). Bud was stepfather to Michelle Bates and Chris Bates. Also survived by his grandchildren Katie, Matt, Molly, Nick, Sydney, Sarah, Rachel, James, Jacob, Joseph, Sienna, and Chase.

Services: St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 100 Bishop Manogue Dr., Reno, on Monday, July 30 at 11:30 a.m. The family extends gratitude to the many friends who shared their love, friendship and prayers with Bud. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bud may be made to "Bud's Team" Walk to End Alzheimer's, , 1301 Cordone Ave., Reno, NV 89502; or The Carmelites of Reno, 1950 La Fond Dr., Reno, NV 89509, Attn: Sister Maria.

You are invited to leave a condolence message in the Book of Memories at the website


Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on July 27, 2012
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