Russell D. Albers, 79, of Fairfield, died Monday, Nov. 13, 2006, after a series of illnesses beginning last April. Mr. Albers was president of Jelly Belly Candy Co., in Fairfield.
He was born Dec. 17, 1926, in Alden, Iowa. He grew up on a farm until he joined the Navy V5 program where he attended University of Dubuque and Northwestern University. He was an aviation cadet during WWII until 1947. After his discharge from the Air Corps he finished his education at Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa.
Russell left Iowa for California and was employed in the candy industry in 1950, first as a retail supervisor trainee at MacFarlane's Candies. He rose to the position of president in 1959 at the age of 33. In 1979, he joined See's Candy Co., as vice president and general manager. After spending 12 years with See's, he joined Herman Goelitz in 1984 as vice president and general manager and was promoted to president in 1987. He served as president until 1996 and was currently serving as their chief adviser.
He served on the Board of Directors of the National Confectioners Association from 1960-1972 and served as the chairman of the board 1971-1972. He was a longtime member of the Western Candy Conference, serving four terms as president. He led the fight to repeal the tax on candy and snack foods until it was successfully repealed after 50 years. This tax was taken off permanently.
Russ was an officer and director of Green Valley Country Club. He served on the board of NorthBay Healthcare Foundation and was elected Chairman of the System and Health Advantage board 1992 until 2005. He was co-chairman of the fundraising committee for the new hospital in 1993. He is a member of Sigma Chi Alumni Association and was the past president of the Los Angeles Alumni chapter. His hobbies included traveling, reading, golfing and deep-sea fishing.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Albers of Fairfield; daughter and son-in-law, Candis and Jim Cannon of Houston, Texas; and four granddaughters, Ashlyn Hurst, Nikki, Natalie and Caitlin.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m.
Nov. 30, at Jelly Belly Visitors Center, One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield.
Inurnment will be private and burial will be at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon.
Memorial contributions are preferred to NorthBay Healthcare Foundation, 1200 B. Gale Wilson Blvd., Fairfield, 94533.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bryan - Braker Funeral Home, 425-4697.