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Stephen V. Russell

February 28, 1949 — November 16, 2023

Monongahela

Stephen V. Russell

 

Stephen V. Russell of Monongahela, Washington County, a longtime educator and community leader died Thurday, November 16, 2023. He was born February 28, 1949, in Montreal, Canada a son of the late James William and Theresa Coreau Russell. A 1967 Belle Vernon Area High School graduate, Russell earned a Bachelor of Science degree at California University of Pennsylvania in 1970, a Master of Arts degree at Duquesne University in 1974 along with principal certification in 1975, and a Letter of Eligibility from West Virginia University in 1979.  He was a social studies teacher in the Ringgold School District from 1970 to1976 and was the department social studies chairman. As an administrator in the Belle Vernon Area School District for 36 years (1976-2012) his roles included BVA assistant high school principal (1976-78), Bellmar Junior/Middle School principal (1978-2008) and BVA superintendent of schools (2008-2012). He was employed since 1970 as a game day staff with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers in charge of player ticket distribution. Since 2012 Russell was an athletic event manager at the University of Pittsburgh as well as an OSHER Lifelong Learning instructor.  He also taught OSHER courses on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University. Those courses emphasized different aspects of President Kennedy`s life and presidency. Russell also authored numerous academic articles on President Kennedy that included his first debate with Richard Nixon at the McKeesport Penn-McKee Hotel in 1947. Most recently he was writing about the books published on John F. Kennedy. Russell was the general chairman of the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame since the mid-1990s and organized yearly banquets for three decades. He worked to recognize Mon Valley sports personalities through writers whose columns gave historical permanence to local sports figures. He was a Regional Vice President for the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.  One of the original organizers of the Belle Vernon Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Russell became president in 2017. Russell published three sports related publications which include: Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame Biographical Journal in 2001, History of Belle Vernon Area High School Football in 2010 and updated in 2015, along with Charleroi, Pennsylvania Baseball History 1900-2020. Russell also co-authored the Belle Vernon Area School District 50 Years and Counting publication in 2017. Known for his preservation of historical items especially John F. Kennedy and local Mon Valley sports history and photos, Russell displayed these treasures through hundreds of bulletin board topics at Ringgold and Belle Vernon Area School Districts. Russell`s expertise transferred to public speaking events at civic organizations with topics that ranged from educational, to political, to Hollywood icons, and especially local sports figures. One of his most recent events was the long running North Charleroi Toast to the Stars Banquet honoring Charleroi seniors.  He was a judge for the PA High School Speech League along with a college debate judge. He was a member of the PA Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals, Belle Vernon Lions club, Monongahela Elks club, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, American Political Items Collectors, Friends of John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Pennsylvania Heritage Society, Calvin Coolidge Foundation, George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, George W. Bush Presidential Center, The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, The President Woodrow Wilson House, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Friends of Sagamore Hill, Warren G. Harding Presidential Sites, Hoover Presidential Foundation, Truman Foundation, Eisenhower Foundation, and Jimmy Carter Center. His awards over the years include: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Outstanding Citizen in 1995, Kennedy Political Items Collectors Service award in 1995, American Political Items Collectors Torchbearer 1996, American Political Items Collectors Outstanding Service 1997, Appreciation award of Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, Pavlak/Shutsy Special Service award in 2002 (California University of PA), Belle Vernon Area Football Hall of Fame award in 2005, The Political Bandwagon award in 2009, Mon Valley River Cruise Communities Rostraver Chamber of Commerce Honoree in 2009, Greater Chamber of Commerce Shining Star award in 2009. At California University of Pennsylvania, he endowed the Stephen V. Russell `70 yearly scholarship to a Belle Vernon Area student. His greatest joy in life was his student`s success. He was a member of St Sebastian Church in Belle Vernon.

   

He is survived by his brother, James W. (Luann) Russell III of Rostraver Township; sister, Janet Russell of Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois; nephews, James W. (Stefani) Russell IV, Ryan (Tracey) Russell and Nolan (Audrey) Russell; and niece, Megan Russell (Jason) Krusienski.

 

Friends will be received on Sunday, November 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday, November 20 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. in the James C. Stump Funeral Home Inc., 580 Circle Drive, Rostraver Township (724-929-7934) www.jamesstumpfuneralhome.com where a Blessing Service will be held on Tuesday, November 21 at 9:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Sebastian Church, 801 Broad Avenue, North Belle Vernon with Rev. Michael J. Crookston presiding.  Entombment will follow in the Belle Vernon Cemetery Mausoleum.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation https://www.jfklibrary.org/

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Stephen V. Russell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, November 19, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Monday, November 20, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Monday, November 20, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Blessing Service

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Starts at 9:15 am (Eastern time)

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Mass

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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