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John Russell

John Russell, a 40-year Belvedere resident, passed away on May 12, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Born in Utah, John relocated to Oakland, CA, at the age of 5. He learned to sail on Lake Merritt shortly thereafter, beginning a lifelong love of sailing.


John attended Piedmont High, where he became a star football player. Continuing his passion for both football and sailing, he attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where he helped win the 1955 Sugar Bowl football game.


After graduating from the Naval Academy, he began his tour of duty in Japan, where he fell in love with the country and flew “egg beater” helicopters. Upon completion of his service, he returned to California and attended Stanford University, where he received his MBA. John went on to become a successful real-estate developer in California and Utah.


John had a long and memorable life, with his fondest memories spent sailing with his family, boating on Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake, skiing in Utah and Tahoe, and relaxing in the wine country with family and friends.


He is survived by his wife Barbara; two children, Carrie Kerwin and William Russell; and two step children, Tyler Thompson and Tiffany Madvig. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He will be dearly missed by all. A family celebration is planned at the San Francisco Yacht Club to honor his life.



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