In Memory

Gary Russell

Age at Death: 22
Cause of Death: murdered, shot by handgun
Classmate City: Tucson
Classmate State: AZ

Survived By: Daughter, Macey Ward Russell

Gary was a fireman. One night while driving home, he was shot and killed. Gary was married to Shelley Frederick. They were divorced at the time of his death.  They had a baby girl together, she must be in her 30's+ by now.

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12/09/11 01:36 PM #1    

Bill Lindamood


I hope everyone’s doing well, but I really came on this website to see if there was any information on Gary. We had lost touch when I left the State in '76 and I was shocked to see that he had been killed. For those of you who don't remember him, it was probably because Gary wasn't all that involved in school activities, other than playing on the tennis team.  Mr. Tweedy was the coach for our Junior year by the way, if that helps put things in perspective.  Those of you who do remember him probably remember the same good looking self assured guy I remember.  Although he wasn't exactly 'My Bodyguard' during our time spent at Sahuaro, he did come to my aid on a couple of minor occasions, because that was the kind of friend Gary was.

Without going into detail with the little I’ve been able to find out, he was a paramedic with the fire department in December of 1981 and was driving home from work in the early hours of the morning.  He got in to some kind of an argument on Speedway with someone described by witnesses as a biker.  Unfortunately under the circumstances, the Gary I knew would not have backed down in that type of situation.  He simply had the misfortune of running in to someone with no respect for human life and access to a handgun.  If someone dies in unusual or tragic circumstances it doesn’t diminish in any way the person that they were, and the Gary I knew deserved far better.  I knew Gary joined the fire depart fairly soon after high school and it doesn't surpise me that he would have become a paramedic. That seems a good fit. I don't know if it's comforting or not to think that the paramedics that showed up that night to try and save his life were probably friends.  I can't imagine what they must have been feeling.

I didn’t get to know his future wife, Shelley Frederick, very well but remember her as being incredibly nice. I know for a fact that Gary thought the world of her and missed her after they divorced.  I hope she and their daughter are doing well.  I thought someone who got to know Gary reasonably well at that time In life when everything seemed so important, and remembered him fondly, should let people know.


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