Dr.Allan Russell Sr.
BARRE- Dr. Allan P. Russell Sr., 71, Allan passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at Heywood Hospital in Gardner, MA leaving his beloved wife of 49 years, Shirley (Merchant) Russell; devoted children, son Allan Russell Jr (Barre) and daughters Lora Russell and her partner Douglas Kendrick Sr. (Barre), Bonnie (Russell) Peck, her husband Justin and grandson Nathaniel (Spencer), godchild Michelle Keller (Holyoke) and cousins, nieces and nephews.
Allan was born and raised in Worcester to Walter F. and Rita (Flagg) Russell with his late brothers Walter L. and Richard. He moved to Barre with his wife in 1973. He went to South High School, Worcester State College, and Boston University receiving a doctorate in Education/Geobiology. Allan served in the Marine Reserves and was so “proficient” with explosives during training, that they gave him a camera to shoot with instead. He led the medical laboratory at Worcester State Hospital for 17 years. He directed the Medical Laboratory Technician Program for MWCC, continuing as a professor teaching the “ologies”, as he called them: Geology, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, etc. Allan also taught at Fitchburg State College, Worcester State College, and correctional facilities at Shirley and Devens. He donated self-collected large slabs of dinosaur tracks to MWCC and Worcester State College. He authored a Hematology textbook guiding the next generation of med-techs. Allan was a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and many other professional organizations, contributing articles to their journals. To further science education, he judged Science Fairs annually at WPI for over 15 years. In 2007 Allan retired Professor Emeritus from MWCC.
Allan’s lifelong interests, starting at 6 years old, were paleontology and collecting fossils. He was known as Dr. Fossil by local Boy Scout chapters, schools, and as the “Rock Man” at Rietta Ranch. As founder and president of the New England Paleontological Society for 33 years, he held educational meetings and fossil collecting trips inspiring the next generation of collectors. He founded Russell Geologics and participated in many Fossil, Gem and Mineral shows giving families the chance to hold museum quality specimens and learn their fascinating details through anecdotes. To Allan, his family was paramount. Learning and teaching were lifelong passions.
Allan’s funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday June 5,2018 at 10am in St. Joseph’s Church South St. Barre. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Barre. Calling hours for Allan will be held on Monday June 4,2018 from 5-7pm in PILLSBURY FUNERAL HOME 96 South Barre Rd. Barre. To leave an online tribute please visit www.pillsburyfuneralhome.com In Allan’s memory, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association 7272 Greenville Ave. Dallas Tx 75231.