University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Former MIE Professor Al Russell Passes Away

Former Mechanical Engineering Professor George Albert (Al) Russell of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who taught in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department for 34 years after earning his doctorate in 1968, died April 11 following a brief illness. Professor Russell was born in Steger, Illinois, on August 29, 1936. During his years at UMass Amherst, he was also a consultant for the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense, Digital Equipment Corporation, and other agencies and organizations.

While growing up, his family lived in a number of different locations, including Meridian, Mississippi, Hilo, Hawaii, and Hayward, California. His Hilo years continued to have a tremendous influence throughout his life.

Professor Russell received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1958 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his M.S. degree from Arizona State University in 1961, and his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1968.

He was a Developmental Engineer for Airesearch Manufacturing Company in Phoenix, Arizona, and for Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, while working on his advanced degrees. 

He enjoyed traveling, with a passion for all things Italian. He found great pleasure in art, literature, conversation with family and friends, opera, Merle Haggard, “Rooty” Beer, and dogs.

Professor Russell is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elisabeth Russell, and three children, Lisa (Russell) Neary (husband, Anton) of Keene, New Hampshire, David Russell of Seattle, Washington, and Amy Russell (husband, Michael Sanders) of Brunswick, Maine. He had six grandchildren, Elisabeth, Matthew, and James Neary; Galileo and Marisa Russell; and Lily Sanders. He is also survived by his brother, David Eugene Russell, and wife Sandra from Lincoln, California. (April 2012)