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OBITUARY

Robert McWatty Russell IV

March 12, 1952April 20, 2021
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Robert "Bob" McWatty Russell IV

Robert “Bob” McWatty Russell IV, age 69, of Madison, Connecticut passed away on April 20, 2021. He was surrounded by his three sons and is now beside his loving wife, Katherine “Katy” Benzie Russell, in heaven. Bob touched so many lives over the years, and most importantly, he considered all of the amazing people with whom he interacted with on a daily basis as part of his extended family. His lasting legacy of giving back has touched so many and he will be missed by all.

Bob was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 12, 1952 to Robert and Ruth Russell. Bob attended Cheshire Academy (CT), subsequently moved to Columbus, OH with his family and graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1969. He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Computer Science, where he met his wife Katy. The two married in 1973, remained married for 43 years until Katy’s passing in 2016, and raised three boys in Madison, CT.

Bob is survived by his three sons, Robert “Rob” (Beth), Matthew “Matt” (Lindsay), and Kevin (Katie) and seven grandchildren, Claire, Robert “Mac,” Edward “Teddy,” Caden, Chase, Madeline, and Mary Russell. Bob is also survived by two brothers, Tim (Jill) and Chris Russell (Kati), and sister, Laurie Wallace (Steve). Bob also leaves behind many adoring nieces and nephews.

Bob spent the first part of his storied career at Digital Equipment Corporation (Vice President), followed by The McGraw Hill Companies (President) and then with the Axeda Corporation (Chairman & CEO). Throughout his working years and up until the day he passed, he was involved in countless organizations, some of which included ECAC & NIHOA (President) hockey, Wounded Warrior Project Lacrosse, Brendan Looney Foundation, Sandboxx, Murtech, Scotland National and IMLCA lacrosse. Perhaps his proudest achievement outside of his family was helping grow the game of lacrosse alongside his wife. He was a founding member of Connecticut New York Youth Lacrosse (CONNY), a volunteer led youth lacrosse league, where he served as President and President Emeritus, which is now the largest program in the nation with over 16,000 USL youth members. In 2015, he was inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Bob and his children shared a love of sports. While Bob commuted two hours into New York City each day, he always made time to coach and watch his three sons’ sports practices. He also managed to attend almost every St. Lawrence and Naval Academy lacrosse game during his sons’ college careers, while cherishing the opportunity with his wife Katy to host so many of their teammates over the years.

Bob was fueled by his amazing friends from Ohio University, lacrosse and hockey programs, Madison, Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club, Fairfield College Preparatory School, St. Lawrence University, The United States Naval Academy, and Cape Cod. Bob will be remembered for his ability to capture a room with his stories, marathon BBQs on his picnic table in Cape Cod and for his counsel and generosity to all those he loved.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 27th at St. Margaret’s in Madison, CT at 10 am, limited to close friends and family. Calling hours will be held on Monday, April 26th from 5-7 pm at Swan Funeral Home in Madison, CT. In lieu of flowers and in the spirit of Bob’s desire to support his community, you may make a memorial donation in the name of Bob & Katy Russell to CONNY Lacrosse. http://www.connylacrosse.org/Page.asp?n=175779&org=CONNYLacrosse.org.

Services

  • Calling Hours

    Monday, April 26, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Memories

Robert McWatty Russell IV

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Evan Scott

May 5, 2021

I met Bob when he was at Digital. I liked him instantly. He was fun and very smart. He and I have worked on many projects over the years and i can say he was one of my favorite people. This is a man who loved people and was a loyal friend. I am so sad we lost Bob and life is just not fair. My love to his wonderful kids.

Pete Metz

May 5, 2021

Going through the family pictures reinforces in me what a great guy coach Russell really was. Reminds me of my own father. Good husband, dad, and friend to so many. A special kind of guy who will be sorely missed. I was lucky to know and have him as a positive influence in my life. A good friend.

James Winston

May 4, 2021

I’ll alway remember the warmth of Bob Russell’s presence. Confident and welcoming.

Too many memories of Navy lax, Ruth’s Chris, Annapolis, and Madison.

Thank you for being a friend.

Always,

James Winston

Dave Martino

April 29, 2021

I am shocked and very saddened to learn of my old friend Bob Russell's passing.
I remember some of the best & fun times of my youth were spent with Bob. He and Scott Miller (UAHS '67), and I (UAHS '67) were the Three Amigos, best friends and partners in crime.

I met Bob when we were in the same rock band in high school. Bob played guitar and bass, and I played guitar. Our friendship continued into college (we both went to OU). But most of our mischief was during breaks back in Columbus with Scott.

Sorry to say I lost track of Bob after college. Amazing how fast 50 years can go by. I reconnected with Bob briefly this last February, to let him know that Scott had passed. He said he was traveling at the time but he was going to call me later. I was really looking forward to talking to him and catching up on our lives. I guess life got in the way.

I see from his FB page what a beautiful family he has. My sincere condolences go out to all of them.

Ironically, Bob and I both worked for Digital Equipment Corp (probably at different times), we were both involved with computers and software, we both married beautiful blonde gals named "Katy" and we were both widowers.

Bob was a wonderful friend (he came with me as moral support, to my first real guitar audition). He was always funny, upbeat, friendly, impulsive, and outgoing.

I've always said that the best compliment I can give to a man is that he is a Nice Guy.
Well, Bob was the Best Nice Guy I have ever known. I shall keep his family in my thoughts and prayers, and I know that Bob is smiling down on all of us who knew him and loved him.

Clark James

April 27, 2021

Deepest condolences to Rob, Matt, Kevin and the entire Russell family. The fondest memories of my childhood came from time spent on that sand dune on Cape Cod- and the soundtrack for the summer always came from “Mr. Russell”. It has been many years since our paths have crossed, but every time I, or my children pick up their lacrosse sticks I think of the Russell family. What a legacy he has built.

Eric Johnson

April 26, 2021

Dear Russell family, I am so sad to hear of Bob’s passing. We worked together in the early 80’s for Digital in Connecticut. Bob took a chance on me and promoted me into my first management position. I always enjoyed working with and for him. We worked hard, but always found time for some fun too. I fondly remember the golf outings, numerous corporate events, and the company sponsored award events to exotic locations.

He will be missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him. Heaven will be a better place with him there.

Carol Macleod

April 24, 2021

Carol Macleod

What a wonderful friend who will long be remembered by those who were in his extended orbit. Bob brought such joy to those he knew. Tony and I extend our most sincere condolences and love to his sons, their families, and those he left behind. He will long be missed and never forgotten. May he be happy in Heaven.

Carol Macleod

Ruth Brock

April 24, 2021

Dear Russell Family (children and siblings)
I was saddened to hear from John Metzger of Bob’s death. Thank you for posting all the pictures. I loved the more recent ones with grandchildren, especially the four generations of RMR. I also enjoyed the older ones of people I recognized such as Bob and Katie with the three little boys. I remember getting to know the whole family at our grandmother Mackay’s funeral service. May our God continue to strengthen and sustain all of you.
Your cousin, Ruthie Reisner Brock

Steve Fan

April 24, 2021

Dear Russell family, I am so sad to hear the news. I met Bob in the mid 80’s when we were at Digital. I also worked with him at McGraw-Hill, soon after he joined. He was always our “favorite big boss”. He always talked about his “boys”, Katy. We went on countless company events, huge award trips. First one for me was a trip to Hawaii. I had many dinners at Ben Bensons steakhouse with Bob. I always laughed non-stop. His one-liners were hilariously well timed.

I shall miss him, the laughs, the golf, the exec meetings, the company events, and his stories about his boys.

Warmly,

Steve Fan

Ellen Isaly Clark

April 23, 2021

On behalf of the Upper Arlington High School Class of 1969, I am sending condolences on the passing of our classmate and friend, Bob Russell. We are proud to have played even a small part in Bob's young life in Upper Arlington. His accomplishments and achievements are many and varied, and he brings pride and honor to our close-knit high school class. We send our sympathy to his family members and others who were close to him later in life; it is always so difficult to say that final "Goodbye."

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Dad

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad, Ma & Pops

FROM THE FAMILY

Mom & Dad wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad with 3 boys

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad & Rob reffing a hockey game together

FROM THE FAMILY

Mom & Dad wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad & Josh

FROM THE FAMILY

Mom, Dad & Chris

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad & Rob in Scotland at St. Andrews