SPRINGFIELD - David Bates Russell of Springfield passed away on Dec. 12, 2011, at age 98. Although Dave was born in Erie, Pa., in 1913, and later lived in Syracuse, N.Y., his Vermont roots go back seven generations. In 1923, his family returned to the Russell homestead in Shrewsbury, Vt., realizing a longstanding dream. There, Dave acquired his love of farm life. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1932.
During college, Dave worked summers at Jones and Lamson in Spring?eld, running the company's last Hartness ?at turret lathe. Over the next 51 years, he worked at J&L, Lovejoy's, Bryant's and Bryant Computer Products as a machinist, draftsman, methods man, liaison engineer, cost estimator and personnel administrator.
Dave married Marjorie Blodgett in 1941. In 1944, the Russells bought a farm on Parker Hill in Spring?eld and raised their family there. Dave farmed full time for five years in the late 1940s and later continued to farm nights and weekends after going back to work in the shop. Over the years, he divided his spare time among dairy farming, raising horses, square dancing with Precision Valley Squares and playing a variety of musical instruments. He retired from Bryant's in 1978.
Writing was always important in his life. A collection of his poems entitled "Verses from a Vermont Hilltop" was published in 2005. In addition to writing poetry and keeping daily journals, he published articles about the history of Shrewsbury, Vt.
Dave is survived by Marjorie, his wife of 71 years; his son, David B. Russell Jr. of Burlington, Mass.; his daughters, Patricia R. Saylor of South Windsor, Conn., and Marjorie R. Raymond of Chardon, Ohio; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff at Springfield Hospital Special Care Unit for the wonderful care they have provided. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Springfield Humane Society, 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156; or to the First Congregational Church UCC, 77 Main St., Springfield, VT 05156.
A memorial service will be held at the Congregational Church in Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vt.
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Published in Rutland Herald on Dec. 15, 2011.