Charles Russell

Charles Russell

February 20, 1932 - August 28, 2020
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Charles G. Russell, 88, of Manchester, N.H. formerly of Chelmsford, Mass., beloved husband of Elaine, passed away early on Aug. 28 at age 88.

Russell, known to everyone as Russ or Charlie – and affectionately known as Papa by his grandchildren – was an Air Force veteran, mechanical engineer, and avid golfer known for his ever-present dry sense of humor. He was notorious for a steady stream of puns and humorous wordplay at every gathering, crafting his own one liners in the moment. He’ll be remembered for his kindness, devotion to family, loyalty to friends, and love of country.

Born and raised in Somerville, Mass., Charlie joined the Air Force after high school and served four years, a portion of which was in Morocco. He travelled Europe as a pitcher on the Air Force baseball team (and remained a baseball fan throughout his life). Upon his return to the U.S., he served as military police at Grenier Field in New Hampshire.

Charlie graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for Raytheon for 33 years in Sudbury, Mass.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Barbara (Collins) Russell, with whom he had 40 years of marriage and two children.

He met Elaine while spending winters in North Carolina after his retirement. Their first date was on Valentine’s Day in 2006, and they are believed to have been together every day since. They were married in 2007 and lived in Manchester, N.H. They had moved to the Birch Hill retirement community this past winter.

Charlie was a storyteller and outgoing person who made friends wherever he went. He frequently socialized with many circles of friends, including in Chelmsford (where he lived for 46 years), Manchester, North Carolina, and with his Raytheon colleagues, a group known as the Management Club, which held regular cookouts, Christmas parties and short trips. In recent years, he had become a proficient bridge player.

Charlie enjoyed travelling, and took trips in recent years to European destinations including Italy, Spain and Hungary. In the summer of 2007, he took a memorable trip to the place of his parents’ birth, Newfoundland, Canada, reconnecting with numerous relatives. It was appropriate that his family roots trace back to a place known as “The Rock,” as Charlie was as steady and dependable as they come.

Charlie is survived by his daughter Cathy and her husband, Joseph Polin, of Tyngsborough, Mass.; his son David and his wife, Janis Annese, of Boston; grandchildren Joseph, Lindsay and Michael Polin, and David, Austin, Jacqueline and Juliette Russell; stepson John Ouellette and his wife, Jill Conrad, and their daughter Julia of Beverly, Mass.; stepdaughter Denise Roberts and her husband, Dan, of Manchester, N.H., and their children Kristina (Roberts) Nacino and her husband, Chandler, and children Zoe and Delaney, and Kelly Roberts.

Charlie was predeceased by his brother David Russell and sisters Marjorie Higden and Norma Hammond.
He was a congregant of Reformation Bible Church in Concord, N.H.

Funeral Service will be LIVESTREAMED on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:00 am. Please find the livestreamed link below Charles' obituary text on day of service. Due to current restrictions, services will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 150 Appleton St. Lowell, MA 01852

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Service Details

  • Graveside Service

    Pine Ridge Cemetery
    130 Billerica Road
    CHELMSFORD, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Funeral Services will be held privately.


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Jim Hammond

Posted at 07:47pm
I'm sorry I missed Uncle Charles funeral. He was my Mom's sister and I remember him fondly. My lasting memory of your Dad was him standing behind me and my family at my Mom's grave the day we buried her holding my shoulder saying my sister your mother will be missed. I say that about him now, he will be missed, he was a good man.

Linda Miller

Posted at 11:59am
Charlie lived a remarkable life that touched so many people. We will all miss him very much but cherish the memories of his caring, his wit, and his joy that he kindly left with us. Please accept our condolences on the loss of this wonderful man. Love, Linda, Tim, and Greg.

Liz Conrad

Posted at 06:12am
Jeff and I came to know Charlie through his stepson John. What a gem! Charlie found humor and the bright side of life in all our encounters. We were priveleged to know him. We send our condolences to all. Jeff and Liz Conrad


Posted at 10:48am
Elaine, Cathy and David-
On behalf of the whole Clancy clan from Ansie Rd., we want to extend our deepest condolences to all of you. Your father-husband was an incredibly wonderful, nice, fun and kind man. We all were blessed to grow up in such an awesome neighborhood with such wonderful parents. Our parents always loved spending time with your parents, and had an incredible time together. They and we have such great memories of the Russell's! Rest in peace! with love and friendship- The Clancy family

Judy O'Connor

Posted at 08:33am
Cathy, Joe and Family, I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved Father. He seemed like a nice man. My condolences to you all. Judy O'Connor

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