Stephen Howard Russell, 76, of Hinesburg, died peacefully on April 27, 2018, after an extremely short struggle with cancer, at the UVM Medical Center.
Stephen was born October 22, 1941 in Burlington, Vt., to Phyllis (Eddy) and Howard Russell. The oldest of seven children, he resided his entire life in Hinesburg, spending much of the time on the family’s farm. He graduated from Hinesburg High School in 1959, from the University of Vermont in 1964, and received his master’s in math from the University of New Hampshire in 1974.
On August 29, 1964, he married Holly Thow of Barre, Vt. Raising four children with Holly brought challenges and joy to his life. Their daughter, Mary, died of leukemia at the age of 6. In August 2014, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Scotland with their children and grandchildren.
Steve was a math teacher at South Burlington Middle School for 30 years. He loved teaching and kept track of his students long after they had graduated. Over the years, he also worked refereeing soccer and basketball games, roofing houses, haying, and a long list of other “side jobs.” He was active, running cross-country in college and skiing the headwall and bowl of Tuckerman’s Ravine for over 30 years.
Steve fulfilled a lifelong dream when he got his pilot’s license in the early 1990s and was always looking for people to “go up for a ride.” In 2002 he flew to Alaska with longtime friend Bruce Ladrie. After retiring from teaching he worked for Valic managing mutual funds, and served on the Hinesburg Elementary School Board and the Town Forestry Committee for numerous years.
Steve respected people from all walks of life. Like his father, he loved to share a good story yet could also be an amazing listener. He knew hard work, but also a good laugh. He was passionate about nature, enjoying hiking and camping with family. His siblings and their spouses were incredibly close and supportive to the last days of his life. One of his favorite spots to share with friends and family was at his camp in Errol, N.H. This is where he could continue to enjoy the great outdoors later in life by snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, hunting and playing cribbage.
Steve will be forever remembered for his steadfastness, humor, and love of learning by his wife Holly; his son Ben of Johnson, Vt.; daughters Beth (spouse Alex) of Bruckmuehl, Germany, and Sarah (spouse Michael) of Los Angeles, Calif.; grandchildren Philip, Fiona and Indiana; siblings Philp and Marlene Russell of Monkton, Vt., David and Janet Russell of Starksboro, Vt., Henry Russell (deceased), Anne and Roger Donegan, Howard Russell and Paul Hawkins, Harry and Kenneth Russell of Hinesburg; brother and sister-in-law Gordon and Brenda Thow of Montpelier, Vt.
A memorial service is planned for later this summer. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Carpenter Carse Library, 69 Ballard’s Corner, P.O. Box 127, Hinesburg, VT 05461.
Condolences may be made online at gregorycremation.com.