Bruce encountered many tasks in his life which involved Herculean efforts as he enjoyed and thrived on challenges, both mental and physical. He loved landscaping, moving heavy rocks, and tending to his plants. He loved the cleansing heat of southern summers intensified by hard labor. He loved the transformation of seeds and bulbs into riotous colors, and the flow of moving water on rocky surfaces.
In 1973, a little boy named Mikey, a notoriously picky eater, dug enthusiastically into a bowl of a new, healthy cereal called Life. “He likes it!” his stunned older brother exclaimed in a memorable 30-second commercial that ran for over a decade.
The spot was written by Edie Stevenson, a copywriter at Doyle Dane Bernbach and the divorced mother of four, including three boys much like Mikey and his brothers. Its success earned her a promotion to vice president.
On Friday morning,” the Inquirer wrote in 1829, “Mr. Jonathon Russel of Brockport put a period to his existence by shooting himself through the head with a musket, loaded with powder and shot. Mr. R. was about 50 years of age - he left a wife and seven children in Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio; and another wife in Brockport.”
--from Journalism in a Culture of Grief by Janice Hume and Carolyn Kitch, as reported here.
He was later employed at Southwest School in Waterford, retiring in 1996 as head custodian. Al had a strong work ethic and never missed a day of work. He had a wry sense of humor with a quick wit, and his unassuming manner belied his many youthful experiences as an adventuresome spirit. He enjoyed sporting events, music and dancing, and was known as "Twinkle Toes" by the ladies as they lined up to take their turn with him on the dance floor.
Hazel and Russ were married in September 1937 and lived and raised their family in Farmington prior to moving to Groton, CT after their retirement where mom took on the role of "Base Commander" for dad's role as a "Lobster Man" and Shellfish Warden. Mom and dad moved to Bristol, CT to keep an eye on two of their sons, Jack (Claire) and Steve (Diane) who, despite their advanced ages were still emotionally unstable and needed their parents strict discipline and guidance.
At the end of his life, Robert battled with cardiac disease and dementia. Whereas the disease did thankfully erase most memories of the '62 Mets season, it eventually also claimed his life. Bedside vigil was fueled by lively conversation, background music of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley, chicken curry and the occasional smuggled glass of Glenlivet.