Calvin C Russell went to be with his Lord and Savior on November 12, 2021 at his home in Sonoma, CA. His wife, Sybil, of 74 years, was by his side. He was born on October 24, 1924 in Fort Collins, CO. His family moved to California in their Model T car, when he was 7 years old. They initially settled in San Juan Batista, CA and later moved to Watsonville. Upon graduation, from Watsonville High School, he joined the Merchant Marines, serving aboard Liberty ships providing supplies to the troops in the Pacific during WWII. One ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Caribbean after passing through the Panama Canal. Calvin lost many friends and co-workers.
After the war he returned home, married the love of his life, Sybil Dillard, in March 1947 and settled in San Francisco, CA. Later they moved to the East Bay where they started a family with two daughters. Calvin’s most important priority was to “take care of my girls!” He became a member of the Berkeley Fire Department earning the rank of Captain and retired to Sonoma, CA after a 25 year career.
One of his great accomplishments was earning a Bachelor's of Arts degree from St Mary's College at the age of 49 while working full time. Calvin was good at many tasks including managing several rental homes and building his own cabin in the Sierra mountains near Arnold where the family spent many memorable times together.
In his youth, Calvin was a Boy Scout and later as an adult he became a Scoutmaster. Throughout his life he was an active member of his local church: teaching the adult Sunday School and serving as a Deacon. After moving to Sonoma, he provided a much loved Saturday morning devotional for the Men's Prayer group of the Sonoma Alliance Church.
He and Sybil retired to Sonoma, CA where they enjoyed their home, creating a very enviable garden in the back yard. Calvin’s ingenious method for drawing water from the creek to water the garden was remarkable. Calvin and Sybil enjoyed several years of square dancing with friends as well as traveling together and seeing various parts of the world. He was a good husband, good father and a friend to all including a stranger on the side of the road. He was always willing and able to help.
Calvin also shared his professional experience by teaching Fire Science at Napa Valley Community College. Some “Cal’s Quips” were “Many Hands Make Light Work”, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan”, and “If You See You Are Going to Hit Something...Stop!”
He and his family are very grateful for the compassionate, respectful and kind care-giving provided to him and Sybil by the staff members of Cogir, By the Bay Hospice and Extended Family Care. These kind people along with family and friends supported and helped the whole family during the end of his journey here on Earth.
He is survived by Sybil, his wonderful wife of 74 years and his children: Juanita Couch (husband Nelson) of Durham NC; Donna Russell (husband Larry Rolfe) of Salt Lake City, UT and grandchildren: Andrew Couch, Berlin Germany, Steven Johnson, Sitka AK, John A. Riley, Hooper, UT and Edith Johnson, Sitka, AK and two great-grandchildren: Addison Louise Graham, Sitka AK and Grayson Riley, Hooper, UT.
He is predeceased by his brother Tracy Russell and sisters Majorie Cala and Martha Perlee and niece JoHanna Willmann.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Sonoma Alliance Church, 125 E Watmaugh Road, Sonoma, CA, 95476 on December 4, 2021 at 1:00PM. He will be interned with Military Honors at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on December 7, 2021.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Sonoma Alliance Church or By the Bay Hospice.