Donald Russell Sr.

Obituary of Donald Keith Russell Sr.

Donald “Don” Keith Russell, Sr, 79, of Tucson, Arizona passed away on May 17, 2019 surrounded by his family. He was born March 6, 1940 in Grampian, Pennsylvania and was the youngest son of Joseph and Pearl (Dunworth) Russell.

After graduating from Curwensville Area High School in 1958, Don began a 20 year career in the United States Army retiring as a Master Sergeant. After retirement from the Army, Don spent the next six years in his hometown of Grampian, working for Thomas Coal. In 1985 he went into business with family and later became full owner of Russell Paving in Tucson. After selling the company in 1994, Don continued to work for Russell Paving, BNR Asphalt and K&B Asphalt until his second retirement in 2007.

Don grew up with a love of music. He played guitar and many family members remember him sitting in his mother’s home playing for them. Later he would spend time playing in a bluegrass band called The Barbed Wire Choir. At the beginning of each performance he would introduce the band and fondly say they chose the name because they “were rough around the edges.”

Surviving him is his wife Sharon (Johnson) Russell; children, Lisa (George) Zamora, Donny (Christine) Russell, Amanda Russell & Andrea Russell and her fiancé Chris Holt; and two stepchildren, Randy Gibson and his fiancé Gabriel Lujan & Carey (John) Gaona. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild on the way.

He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Doyle, Droze & John Russell, and three sisters: Rosella “Sis” Shimchock, Jean Mays & Dorothy “Dot” Wall.

A Memorial Service is scheduled on June 4, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at The Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery - Marana, 15950 N. Luckett Rd., Marana.

*Don’t feel obligated to wear black as we want to celebrate life. Vibrant colors encouraged.

A small reception will follow the service. Please email for location and information.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to be made to Wounded Warrior Project or

St. Baldrick’s Foundation (childhood cancer research)

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Russell Sr., please visit Tribute Store

Committal Service

10:00 am - 10:20 am
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Marana
15950 North Luckett Road
Marana, Arizona, United States
(520) 638-4869
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