Joseph W. Russell, 67, of Alexandria Bay, NY, passed away peacefully at home, under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County and his loving family.
Joe was born in Alexandria Bay, NY on August 31, 1955, the son of Alden F. and Margaret M. Underwood Russell. He graduated from Alexandria Central School in 1973 and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from St. Lawrence University, in 1977, where he attended as an R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) scholar. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in May 1977 and was awarded an educational delay from active duty to attend Albany Law School, graduating in 1980.
Joe served in the United States Army as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corp from 1980-1984, stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, where he met Robin McKeen. They were married on August 3, 1984 in Dearborn Michigan and then settled in Alexandria Bay in 1985.
Joe most recently had his own law firm, Joseph W. Russell P.C., and had been a partner at Conboy, McKay, Backman & Kendall; Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece; and Barclay Damon LLP.
He was very active in the local community, serving as a board member from 2005 and then President of the River Hospital Board of Directors from 2008 until present, a board member of the North Country Community Foundation from 2007-2020, serving as President from 2013-2017, Trustee emeritus of the Alexandria Township Historical Society, Past President of the Alexandria Bay Rotary Club, and Past Vice President of the Alexandria Bay Minor Hockey Association. Joe was also one of the founders of the Lady Ghosts Girl’s Hockey Team and spent many hours supporting Girl’s Hockey in the North Country, both Minor Hockey and Varsity.
Joe had a lifelong passion for the St. Lawrence River, spending many of his childhood days on it and in it. He especially loved his time with his family and friends boating on the River, creating memories of a lifetime.
Joe is survived by his wife, Robin, and daughters, Caitlin, A. Russell, Los Angeles, CA and Molly Joe Russell, Albany, NY; foreign exchange student “son”, Christian Lohse, Germany; and brothers, John “Jack” G. Russell (Janet), Casa Grande, AZ, James “Jim” A. Russell (Brenda), Theresa, NY; and Jay Russell, Alexandria Bay.
Calling hours will be held at Costello Funeral Home, Alexandria Bay, on Friday, January 27th from 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm A funeral service will be held at the Reformed Church of the 1000 Isles, Alexandria Bay, on Saturday, January 28th at 11:00 am with Rev. Jeffrey McIlrath officiating.
A reception at the 1864 restaurant, Alexandria Bay, will follow the funeral service.
Memorial contributions may be made to River Hospital at riverhospital.org or to the Northern New York Community Foundation at NNYCF.org