OBITUARY

Russell Earl Peed Jr.

May 4, 1948January 2, 2021
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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.

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Memories

Russell Earl Peed Jr.

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Marcy Wallace Smith

January 13, 2021

Russell was my father's best friend, (Marcus Wallace Sr.). I was very young during their friendship, but my greatest memory of Russell and Terry was on the night my father passed away. He and Terry came to help my stepmother and I out of the utter shock of this experience. They were there for us at a time when we could not grasp what had just happened and they both comforted us. Russell was there for his friend , and I will never forget that. He was a true friend to my father. And I will always have the deepest respect for Russell. I am so terrible sorry to his family that we cannot be there at this time, but we send our love and prayers to Terry, Michelle and family.

Joseph Brunson

January 11, 2021

Russel, You were a good friend and great neighbor. I will miss all the interesting conversations and small chats we had together. Rest in peace.
Joe Brunson

Judy Liederbach

January 11, 2021

1980s photo of dinner at my house with Heike, Russ, 2 Bobs & me. Terry behind the camera.
Russ was always an interesting and fun guest!

Frank and Rosalind Jackson

January 10, 2021

Russell gave me an opportunity with Mansur Real Estate as my first job in Indianapolis. I worked nine years under his leadership. He was intrigued by my past history of being a sea man and trusted me in many challenging jobs. He was also a good teacher, leader, philosopher, and problem solver. He would say "Let us fix the problem and discuss it later", My Thanks and prayers go out to the Peed family. God Bless you Russell, R.I.P.

Frank and Rosalind

David Owen

January 8, 2021

First, Terry I am so sorry for your loss. I know the void Russell's passing has left in my heart and I can only imagine that your sorrow is magnified 1000 times more.

Russell, as Roger Waters sang at the concert we attended in Louisville, "Wish You Were Here"! While we did not meet until later in life, I was lucky enough to be drawn into your vortex and spent many an hour solving the world's problems in an offhand way. Whether it was hanging out in the shop in your garage, playing chess and sipping limoncello, telling tales in the secret garden, brainstorming over the next project for Peed Manor that may or may not reach a conclusion, or re-living a recent trip one of us had taken, it was never boring. I always looked forward to our next meeting.

My friend, you were one of the greats and I proudly have your red business card displayed in my office: Philosopher, Casual Observer & Political Junkie. You are sorely missed today and forevermore. Rest in Peace my friend.

Elizabeth Winter

January 7, 2021

Dearest Peed Family, Cousin Russ lived with my family for a time when we were of high school age. As a consequence, Russ became a second brother to Dave, Kathy and myself! And, that relationship Never changed over time...we remained close like brother and sister.

My heart is shattered by his sudden, horrible and tragic death. I send my deepest sympathy to the Peed family as I share your loss and I grieve with a painful loss.

Two memories that seem to mean a lot to me...I lived, worked and played in TN for a period of time. I was cast in a play and Russ drove from Indy to Chattanooga to see me in the play. Since my immediate family lived in AZ, it was such an extraordinary blessing to have my Cousin/Brother come see my play! With Russ, little things were Big Things!!! That is how he made me feel!!

Second Memory: A few years ago I took my parents (now deceased) and our Aunt Kathryn (now deceased) to KY/IN to visit family. Russ took us out on his sail boat on Lake Michigan. Aunt Kathryn was beginning to have a decline in memory but she gave us such a "hoot" when she stated that she did not know Kentucky (where she was born and raised) had such a Big Lake! When you are on the ground or on the water, it is hard to tell where the state line is...so, she just thought all our travels were in the state of Kentucky! Russ and I never ceased to laugh over the JOY of this shared experience of sailing with Mom, Dad and Aunt Kathryn.

Russ inspires all of us to be the Best Human we can be...show kindness, laugh always, give away love, listen to the heart of others, explore the universe without and within, believe in others and remain steadfast in friendship. Now, all that remains is for us to mirror what Russ has mentored to us. That is the BEST TRIBUTE we can pay to this Hero of Life!!

Becky Reid

January 7, 2021

R.I.P Russell, you will be missed from the Reid’s family function. Really enjoyed your company. You made a room come alive whenever you were around!! Gonna miss you very much........

Heike Thygesen (Johansson)

January 7, 2021

My dearest Terry "2nd Hon"
my deepest condolences on your loss. This is so so sad, tragic and completely incomprehensible and by FAR NOT the way I wanted to send words to you again.

My favourite memory of Russ is, when we went to your new house for a BBQ with the Gang from Merchants. My son and I got the grand tour of the "Castle" with Russ while he was explaining all the pending renovations. The big thing was of course the movie theater upstairs and at that time the movie "Twister" was rocking the 1st floor with an amazing sound and one could just tell how proud Russ was of his "baby"

The other fun experience was the TV in the kitchen. Coming from Europe and living in little Denmark back then, my son and I were so impressed, when Russ showed us how you could skip the commercials.

So my dear Terry, in the middle of the darkness just place your ear against the walls and you will hear the laughter and talking from an unforgettable fun day at Russ' and your house ❤

Hugs and deepest thoughts and much love from Heike-Jo

Bonita Shackleford

January 7, 2021

I have a few!! Easter egg hunt for the kids, Russ always treated me and my son like family . We shared dinners and the opera, which I didnt like and he took us again to make sure I didn't miss anything. I was cutting his hair one day and my son Marcus strapped himself in a carseat and walked in to get help getting out. We laughed hard and Russell loved telling the story because of the interaction between him and Marcus before I released the strap. Russ would say I love the way the kid thinks. My thoughts and prayers are with Terri and family

Kathryn Whittaker

January 7, 2021

My cousin Russell was like a brother to me! Russell was indeed a Renaissance man ; he was bigger than life. We shared important times of celebrations as well as losses, vacations, wonderful conversations, excellent food and drink, sailing, family times that will always be treasures. He is the person you would always want to have in your court, on your team, sharing, laughing, exploring, bringing a larger perspective to every conversation and event. He was taken too early; and he will be terribly missed by all who loved Russell!

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