John Stephen Russell, Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, was born June 24, 1935 in Denver, Colorado. He was married in 1957 to Mary. This union was blessed with two loving daughters, Tricia and Jeannie. John passed away peacefully in his Parker, Colorado home March 8, 2021.
Russell was educated through the Denver Public School system and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver. He enjoyed hiking, camping and fishing with his daughters, his beloved nephew Derek and many other cherished family members. He instilled a passion to all for the great Colorado outdoors.
Russell’s professional career began as a chemist for the Kennicott Copper Company before joining his father in the printing industry. He rose from salesman to manager and eventually to President of Monitor Publications, Inc. He retired from the printing business in 1982 and later served as President of the Jewel Mountain Land Company, President of the Sedalia Land Company and Trustee for Athmar Investment Trust.
Russell’s civic activities included: Director of The South Denver Civic Association; Director Geneva Glen Camp; Treasurer of the Denver Southeast Water and Sanitation District; Member of the Apprentice Committee of the Printing Industries of Colorado; the Denver Rotary Club; President of the Parker Lions Club; Cabinet Secretary of District 6C Lions International; and Member of the Colorado State Historical Society. At the Colorado Historical Society, he was a docent teaching the fur trade circa 1800-1850 and mining circa 1864-1890. John’s fur trade program, with period accurate demonstrations, was much beloved by local schools and civic organizations across Colorado and he performed this continually until 2020. He was the chairman of the Volunteer’s “More Across Colorado” cookbook. The Volunteers of the Historical Society selected him as 2007 Volunteer of the Year.
Russell was a dutiful and lifelong Mason. Raised a Master Mason in 1959 at South Denver Lodge No. 93, he served as Grand Secretary for the Grand Lodge of Colorado from 1998-1999; Secretary for the Colorado Masonic High School Band Camp; Treasurer for the Grand Master Club; Manager for the King Wheeler Fund, a Masonic charity organization; Editor of the El Jebel Shrine paper, the Red Fez, for 20 years; and Associate Guardian for his daughter, Jeannie’s, Job’s Bethel group. He was a 33º Scottish Rite Mason; served on the Kitchen Committee at Denver Consistory and Scottish Rite Foundation Appraisal Committee for The Children’s Hospital; was awarded the Scottish Rite Foundation’s 2005 Distinguished Service Award; was active in the York Rite and twice served as High Priest of his Chapter; was thrice Illustrious Master of his Council; was Eminent Commander of St. Bernard’s Commandery; was thrice Master of Cherry Point Masonic Lodge No. 178; served as Chairman of the Public Awareness Committee at the Grand Lodge of Colorado; was awarded the Grand Lodge of Colorado’s 1994 Distinguished Service Award; was named 2014 Mason of the Year; participated as a member of the Philalethes Society; was Excellent Chief of Kincora Council No. 8 Knight Masons; served as Master of Research Lodge of Colorado; was Sovereign Master Centennial Council Allied Masonic Degrees; was a Member of the National Sojourners, twice earning Scout Camp Heroes of ‘76; and was Master of Memorial Lodge No. 1.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Colorado Masonic Band Camp, c/o Jerry Fenimore 82 Brookhaven Dr. Littleton, CO 80123-6690. The Band Camp is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation.
A Memorial Service is posted below. A reception will follow but due to Covid-19 restrictions the number of people will be limited.
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