Russell Peter Friedman
1943 - 2016
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January 4, 1943 - November 26, 2016 Russell Friedman, Executive Director of the Grief Recovery Institute and well-known former Los Angeles restaurateur, passed away at his home in Studio City, surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Upon his diagnosis of lung cancer, he shared the news on Face book with his typical positive attitude and humor: "It seems that my 'use by date' will be much sooner than I anticipated or hoped." Born in Port Chester, New York, Russell graduated from Rollins College in Florida, and typical of his inquisitive nature, he then took a tramp steamer to the Basque Country to play Jai Alai. Continuing his adventures at various jobs in New York City, he then moved to London and discovered his passion for the restaurant business. Russell gained prominence in the 1970's as the charismatic, red headed owner of many distinctive restaurants, including the popular Lost on Larrabee, The Taming of the Stew and the Budapest Hungarian. In keeping with his innovative nature, he opened Rascals, the first gay bar in West Hollywood with windows open to the street. He later became the well-loved manager of Genghis Cohen. He then discovered, by chance, his life's work when he met Grief Recovery Institute founder John W. James, eventually becoming a partner. Together, they co-authored several best selling books including When Children Grieve, The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, Moving On, Moving Beyond Loss and the first major revision of The Grief Recovery Handbook. Translated into twenty-two languages, these books continue to be a major source of help for grievers around the world. Recognized as a leading authority on grief and loss, Russell became the go-to Grief Recovery expert on CNN, appearing in the aftermath of national tragedies, most notably in the wake of 9/11. Russell was a member of "Yarmy's Army," a group consisting largely of famous comics and comedy writers who had formed in order to support Alice's first husband Dick Yarmy as he fought cancer. He treasured his weekly golf game and played many of the great courses of the world. Russell also developed an interest in agility dog training, achieving numerous Master Agility Championships with his adored red Vizla Baxter. Russell leaves behind his wife of 28 years Alice Borden Yarmy, his daughter Kelly Logan, stepdaughter Claudia Yarmy and his beloved granddaughter Zoey Yarmy. He is also survived by his twin sisters Marjorie Goldberg and Patricia Teague, his brother Kenneth Friedman and their families, his goddaughter Gabi Kuhn and his brother-in-law Stephen Borsuk. A memorial is being planned for early January. Information will be posted at Russell Friedman's message of being complete with one's relationships, living or passed, defined him. His caring, his wisdom and his endless commitment to healing broken hearts, enriched countless lives around the world. All who knew him will forever cherish the gift that he was. We love you. Goodbye.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4, 2016.
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13 entries
November 2, 2017
Hi, I am actually shocked and sad to have found out about Russell today. I'm Kinda, my mother was once married to Russell and run Lost on Larrabee with him in the 70s. They actually didn't keep in touch. I grew up in Spain and just moved to LA, would of liked to get in touch with him while I was here, but didn't have the chance. RIP Russell.
Ninda Tanner
August 8, 2017
I am sorry to read of Russell's death.I took a Grief Recovery course here in Switzerland and had several questions which I wrote to Russell via email.He answered them all w great caring and professionalism.The world is a better place because of Rissell's work in the field of grief recovery.My condolences to his wife and family and to John James.Best Lorraine Curran-Vu,formerly of Boston,since 1998,living in Zurich,Switzerland
Lorraine Curran-Vu
June 14, 2017
Valenda Newell
January 5, 2017
My warmest participation. I had the pleasure of attending one of Russell's courses in LA. I still remember the days with warmth and happiness. I am happy that I have had the opportunity to carry forward Russell's knowledge. I myself have been greatly benefited in my own life of all that Russell intermediated
Inger Carlson
December 30, 2016
Thank you to everyone for your lovely thoughts about Russell.
December 13, 2016
A tribute to the most loving, compassionate and gentle man I have ever had the delightful experience of spending time with. Blessings to all who loved him. His work is a legacy for those who follow. Words cannot express my sadness.
Linda Okimoto
December 9, 2016
I am sorry to never have been able to meet Russell. Sending condolences to the family and friends.
Kattalina Kazunas
December 9, 2016
What a lovely gentleman and an exceptional teacher, his legacy will last in generations of his students, and the people they have worked with. Best wishes to his family. Beth O'Brien, Australia
Beth OBrien
December 9, 2016
Russell you were a friend, a mentor and all around authentic and amazing person. The tools you taught me have impacted my life and so many others. Thank you and goodbye.
Kathy Low
December 9, 2016
Thank you for all you've done to help grieving people.
Goodbye Russell.
Gregory Jones
December 9, 2016
Love you and miss you Russell. I enjoyed our visits together and wish nothing but the best for your family!
steve moeller
December 4, 2016
My heart smiles when I think of you my friend.
Jess James
December 4, 2016
Goodbye, dear Russell. You were a guiding light in my life and the life of our daughter Kelly. Wonderful to see you share that light with so many over your lifetime. With love and support to all those who loved you and will miss you.
Jeanne Barnard
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