Russell Earl Peed Jr.
May 4, 1948 – January 2, 2021
Russell E Peed Jr, 72, was born in Louisville, KY, on a spring day in May 1948. A true baby boomer he was born to his returning GI father, Russ Sr. (deceased) and Russ’s wartime girlfriend/wife, Beulah Lee Conn Peed (deceased). The young family soon relocated to the inner-city neighborhoods in Indianapolis and Russell would become the eldest of the 8 Peed children, with 6 brothers and a sister. Russell developed his love of knowledge, music and the arts from his mother while learning the survival skills necessary for a young man in the inner city from his father. During the Viet Nam era, Russell enlisted in the Coast Guard. He preferred the challenge of search and rescue to the deadly obligation of combat. Anyone who knew Russell longer than 5 minutes would be regaled with amusing stories of his Coast Guard days, where he was a Boatswain Mate and developed a passion for cooking while working in the galley. Russell loved to say he had 4 years of “foreign duty” protecting the coastline of Texas! It was during his Coast Guard duty in Texas that the light of his life was born, his daughter Michelle. Upon discharge from the Coast Guard Russell returned to Indianapolis where he pursued his degree in HVAC. Most of Russell’s working career was spent in the heating air conditioning business. He owned his own company – High Tech Mechanical – which was a vendor to Mansur Real Estate Services. Upon establishing his value to that company, they sought to hire him directly and Russell then spent the next 16 years as the Director of Engineering at Mansur. Upon feeling the tug of owning his own business once again, Russell established Total Facilities Services. Russell would spend the next decade serving commercial and industrial clients in Central Indiana, until his retirement. It was a fateful night in October 1987 when Russell attended a concert at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as a season ticket holder. It was on this night that he was randomly seated next to the woman who would be his companion, partner, soul mate, true love and wife for the next 30 plus years. Russell loved to tell their story because it was such a romantic one. He would often say that he and Terry started a conversation on that night that kept running for the next 30 years. Russell was a Dreamer, a Romantic and a Visionary. It was the culmination of these traits that led him to a property on Alabama Street he came to call home for the next 30 years. With such “good bones” it was fondly referred to as Peed Manor and it represented so much more than just a house. It offered the stability that was so often lacking in his childhood. It was large enough to accommodate the large families that both he and Terry came from and was a perfect central location for everything. Russell poured his heart and soul into the renovations that would be completed in 6 months (inside joke) and his craftsmanship was truly reflected in his work. The most recent example of that was the vision and detail in the back porch. Along the way Russell acquired a sailboat and he and Terry developed their sailing skills on Lake Monroe. Once that was no longer challenging to him, he coerced Terry into agreeing to a larger boat that was kept on Lake Michigan. Together they sailed on the lake but also chartered sailboats on their travels around the world, including Hawaii, the Chesapeake Bay and the Irish Sea. Russell’s love of travel stemmed from his love of knowledge, adventure and good food! Together he and Terry traveled to Europe many times, most recently to Italy with a 3-day layover in Greece. Russell was thrilled and humbled to walk in the same steps as his hero Socrates in Athens at the Parthenon. Russell openly admitted to gaining 20 pounds in Italy…between his passion for pasta and his inability to pass up a gelato shop it was no wonder. When Russell retired, Terry gave him a new business card….Casual Observer, Philosopher and Political Junkie. Everyone who knew Russell was keenly aware of the accuracy of this business card. The summer porch parties in the Secret Garden were the perfect venue for Russell to hold court and discuss the pressing issues of the day. Russell had been deeply concerned about the state of our democracy over the past 4 years and was quite pleased with the November election results. He was respectful of everyone’s point of view but loved the opportunity to debate their positions, whether he was able to sway their opinion or not. As one cousin put it, Russell was rich with words. Russell loved kids! He would speak to them as people, not kids. He never wasted a moment without teaching them some kind of lesson or imparting some type of wisdom. Russell relished the parties that were hosted at Peed Manor – mainly because he enjoyed his interactions with the kids. Russell knew the art of play and embraced it wholeheartedly – whether it was on kid camping trips, lighting fireworks at 4th of July parties, Easter Egg hunts, dressing up as the Elf at Christmas time, trips with the grandkids, telling corny jokes or flipping kids noses. While he loved all kids, he adored his grandchildren (Desire’, Korben and AnnJe) and great grandchildren (Nevaeh and Gabriel). They will all miss him sorely. Russell was a kind and generous man. He was known to help strangers stranded along the highway, purchase food for those who were hungry, give money to those without work, volunteer for many organizations and do many other kind deeds. Russell never did these things for the bragging rights rather he often did them silently without notice because it was the right thing a person should do for a fellow human. Russell was always generous with his time. It did not matter your station in life, whether you were a cashier at the grocery, a customer in the plumbing aisle at Lowes, a house painter or a cardiologist – Russell would take time to share a story or listen to your tale. He gave the gift of his time. Because of his varied interests and his pursuit of knowledge in so many facets of life he was always able to add to the conversation in a way that was meaningful to you. He always said it only took a minute to make someone’s day better. So many people experienced this aspect of Russell it made them want to do special things for him and because of this Russell was richly blessed with many wonderful and precious friends. As some friends have noted Russell was a character and always a big presence in the room. Russell was a Renaissance Man – he often described himself as an Alpha Male that cried at Opera and this is such an accurate description of the man. While not a particularly religious man, Russell had studied the Bible and followed its teachings better than many who proclaimed to be religious. But as a man of science, Russell kept to provable facts. Russell’s bright light was extinguished on Saturday January 2nd and the world is a little dimmer without him. Please rest in Peace dear Russell – you were loved by so many and you will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer that donations be made to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at https://www.indianapolissymphony.org/support/donate.
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Russell Earl Peed
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