Rudolph L. Russell, 79, electrical company owner

December 07, 2003

Rudolph L. Russell, the retired founder of a Baltimore electrical company, died Wednesday of complications from pneumonia after treatment for lung cancer. He was 79 and lived for more than 50 years in West Baltimore.

Born in Union Level, Va., he served with the Army in Europe from 1942 to 1945, including the Battle of the Bulge. At the groundbreaking on Veterans Day in 2000 for the World War II Memorial in Washington, Mr. Russell shared wartime memories with former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, said Mr. Russell's nephew, J. Russell George of Alexandria, Va., who was recently nominated by President Bush as inspector general for tax administration at the Department of the Treasury.

After earning a bachelor of science degree in 1953 from Hampton University, Mr. Russell moved to Baltimore and was licensed by the state as a master electrician, Mr. George said. He set up his business, Rudolph L. Russell Electric Co., which he sold upon retiring several years ago.

Mr. Russell was married for about 25 years to the former Esther Chesley, who died in the early 1980s.

He is survived by two sisters, Celestine George and Wallicia Hayes, both of New York City; and two brothers, Alphonso Russell and Jerome Russell, both of Baltimore.

Funeral services will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Home, 5151 Baltimore National Pike.

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