Longtime Cody resident Rev. Jack Russell, who pastored the Lovell and Deaver United Methodist churches in 2006-7, died Sunday, Dec. 8, in Cody.
Jack grew up in California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and New York. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy and eventually served in World War II. After leaving the service he continued on to graduate from both Lehigh University and Yale Divinity School.
He married Gladyse “Glady” Brunel, of Boiceville, NY, in 1950. Together, they raised five children.
Working as a Methodist minister, he tenured several years of service including time spent at Yale, MIT and Harvard. Career choice changes led to employment at the Boston Redevelopment Authority; Vice Provost of Student Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania; Building Contract and Pre-Purchase Building Inspector in Woodstock, NY; and finally retirement with wife Glady in 1990 to Green Valley, Ariz. Their retirement was spent enjoying travel and exploration of the western United States and northern Mexico.
Glady died in 1995. Several years later, Jack chose to retire a second time to Cody. He first saw Cody in 1936, at age 11, when his family traveled through Yellowstone on a cross-country trip. Upon moving to Cody at age 76, he dedicated himself to learning about, exploring and serving this community, which came to be his home.
In Cody, he enjoyed volunteering at the Buffalo Bill Museum, working as a lobbyist for mental health issues at the state level with NAMI, and serving as a Wyoming Community College Commissioner. Additionally, through his involvement with the local faith community, he was able to touch many lives as an interim and on-call reverend for the United Methodist Church and several surrounding churches.
Following cancer treatment in the summer of 2013, Jack and his eldest son “Biff” made one last trip to Yellowstone to see the buffalo, just before the roads closed for the season.
Jack passed peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, with “Biff” by his side. He is survived by his only brother Pat of New Hampshire; four children: Darshan, “Biff”, Eric and Natalie: seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service was held Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Cody United Methodist Church.