Donald Shepard Russ Sr. passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at his home in Decatur, Alabama surrounded by members of his family. Mr. Russ was born November 10, 1932 in Chattahoochee, Florida, son of William Henry Russ Sr. and Eula Shepard Russ. He was preceded in death by parents and his brother William Henry Russ Jr. Mr. Russ was dearly loved by his family and will be terribly missed.
Mr. Russ graduated high school in 1950, then from the University of Florida in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering after serving his country in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955. He was a veteran of 20 years of government service as a senior-level civil service Army executive. Mr. Russ was chief of the Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Technology Center’s Radar Directorate where he led significant technological advances in radar nuclear hardening, high-speed digital signal processing, and high-frequency wave radar. Later, he was Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Technology Center. For his contribution, Mr. Russ was an honoree on the Wall of Honor at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. After his retirement from government service, Mr. Russ was Vice President of Theatre Missile Defense at BDM Corporation.
Mr. Russ was an active member of Westmeade Baptist Church for over 35 years and was an example of a man who was led by his faith. After his retirement, he was a volunteer for a number of organizations, including Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Baptist Disaster Relief, Red Cross, Gideons International and as an AARP tax aide. He was devoted to his family, loved spending time with them and loved traveling.
He is survived by his wife, Kay Waddell Russ of Decatur, AL, son Donald Russ Jr. (Teresa), daughter Susan Russ, grandchildren Donald Russ III and Diana Russ, his step-children Cory Derrick (Sarah), Dorinda Steele (Jason) and Danya Sanders (Bob), and his step-grandchildren Logan and Tyler Derrick, Jacob and Reagan Steele, Colton and Maylan Sanders, and his niece Christy Russ Galloway (Scott).
Funeral Service will be Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 11:00a.m., Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Scotty Hogan officiating with burial in the Bishop Family Cemetery with U.S. Navy Honors and Peck Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be from 6:00pm until 8:00pm Friday evening at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Donald Russ III, Cory Derrick, Bob Sanders, , Larry Fincher, Glenn Robison and Clay Fowler. Honorary Pallbearers will be Jason and Jacob Steele, Tyler Derrick, Colton Sanders, and Jerry Waddell.