It is with great sadness that the OS Club informs the Sedberghian community of the passing of former Head Boy David Robert Buchanan Russell (P 1949-1954), who died from Covid-19 on 31st March 2020.
Russell was awarded the Moodie Exhibition on entering Sedbergh School in 1949. He played for Powell House in the panters, junior rugby, fives and colts teams, and captained the house colts XI in 1952. For the school, Russell played in the colts team and the 3rd XV, winning three of the four matches in the 1952 season against other schools’ 1st and 2nd XV teams.
Russell was appointed a School Prefect in September 1953 and was the cricket secretary for 1953-4. In the house drill cup of 1952, Russell commanded the Junior Squad. He was awarded his 2nd XI, 3rd XV and house colours in 1953. He continued to play in the Powell House cricket, rugby and fives teams, and was the captain of the house cricket team in 1954.
In 1953, Russell joined the school’s 1st XV and 1st XI, the latter of which he captained in 1954. In March 1954 he received his 1st XI and 1st XV colours, and won the Arthur Smith Cup.
David Robert Buchanan Russell, 84, died Tuesday, 31st March, 2020 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after falling ill with Coronavirus.
David leaves Anne Russell (nee Ramage) his wife of 56 years; five daughters Alison, Katherine, Sarah, Susannah, Helen and son John. He leaves eleven grandchildren; Rosanna, Charles, Sophie, James, Henry, Jennifer, Daniel, Maximilian, Cecilia, William and George along with many nieces, nephews, godchildren and close lifelong friends.
Born in Bowdon near Manchester, the youngest son of John and Margaret Russell (nee Bellingham), David was a lifelong resident of Cheshire until recently moving close to East Grinstead to be closer to most of his grandchildren.
David attended Seascale, then Sedbergh School where he was Head Boy before going onto Trinity College at Oxford University to read Anglo Norman French where he gained first class honors. He met his beloved wife Anne at Wilmslow Rugby Club, after she admired his legs from the touchline whilst captaining the team in a match. Married in Prestbury, 1964, Anne describes David as her “better half”, just as he described her.
After a year of military service in the army and seeing action in Malaysia, David joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in Alderley Edge, Cheshire for the next 30 years. Starting out in sales, David showed talent and being multi-linguist, progressed to Managing Director, ICI, France in 1985 and then CEO, ICI Spain. David and Anne relished the opportunity to live in Paris & Madrid, embodying their love of travel. David enjoyed nurturing talent, delegating with fairness, instilling confidence and conducted himself with integrity at all times.
With a passion for supporting those less able and less fortunate, after retiring, David kept active by serving with the Prince’s Trust and worked on tribunals all over the North West. He joined a Manchester based charity The Boys and Girls Welfare Society (Now The Together Trust) on the Board of Directors. Over 10 years, he helped transform the charity and spearheaded the development of a school for autistic children, later carrying his name.
David’s funeral will be held 16th April 2020 at East Hampstead Park Crematorium near Reading for immediate family only. A memorial service and celebration of his life is to be held later in the year, as circumstances permit.
David was an active member of Wilmslow Golf Club on committees and enjoyed the club camaraderie. David and Anne joined the “Winos”, a group of close friends travelling the world with wine as the loose link, exploring regions and enjoying time together.
David was a devoted and very special husband, much loved father, truly great friend and an inspiration to many. A kind & honorable gentleman, he cherished friends and celebrated life. He loved family and friends dearly, and was deeply loved in return. He will be sorely missed.
Donations can be sent to to https://secure.togethertrust.org.uk if so inclined.