Township of Chapleau

Obituary: Kenneth Russel

Posted: Sep 15, 2022
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Kenneth Charles Russell

March 27, 1934 – September 14, 2022

It is with profound sadness the family of Kenneth Charles Russell announces his passing on September 14th, 2022, in his 88th year.

Predeceased by his wives, Joan Wilcox and Patricia Purich, survived by the mother of his children and close friend, Clarisse Allan. Survived by his sons, Christopher and Walter (Irene), daughter, Rosalind Russell, and stepdaughter, Lynn Purich. Predeceased by his daughters, Liseanne and Michele-Anne and son, Derek, and grandson Johnathan. Survived by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, he loved and cherished them all considering them his greatest legacy.

Born in Hamilton, and educated in England and Holy Cross in Hamilton, Ken tragically lost his parents, Walter and Alice (Chevrier-Grey) Russell at the age of 16 and found his way to joining first, the Canadian Army, then the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served at CFB Marville, France, and CFB Summerside and was presented with medals for his service during the Korean War.

Once he left active service, Ken received training in medical education technology in New Brunswick and had become a registered diagnostic technician in 1961. A year later he had obtained his registration in radiotherapy. He went to Prince Edward Island where he helped establish a radiography training school, as well as serving as an instructor until 1965.

Moving to Sudbury to accept the position of chief technologist at Sudbury Memorial Hospital, Ken initiated the Sudbury School of Radiography where he was chief instructor until 1969. He was appointed to the position of technical director of the Northern School of Radiography and subsequently was chairman of the Northern Ontario Health Science Schools which incorporated nursing, medical lab technologist, and radiography programs. Continuing his interest in education he was appointed Co-ordinator of Health Science programs at Cambrian College.

In 1973, Ken moved to Chapleau to take the position of radiology supervisor at the new hospital. Ken received special training in gastrointestinal fluoroscopic procedures as well as completing the CMA departmental management course. He received his administrator's diploma and an advanced certificate from the CAMRT. He oversaw the running of the department for many decades even filling in when needed long after his retirement.

Capping off his medical career, Ken was the recipient of the prestigious Ontario Association of Radiological Technologists Education Award for his contributions to medical radiation technology education in 1983.

When he left the air force, Ken continued to work actively as an officer with the Sudbury Air Cadets Corps, and eventually the Chapleau Air Cadets Corp. He also spent many years providing gliding instruction to countless cadets at CFB Trenton and CFB Borden. He continued his love of flying by overseeing flight schools in Chapleau. An active veteran and member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #5 in Chapleau, he was welcomed by Branch #39 when he moved to Espanola to reside with his daughter, Rosalind. He is especially proud to have helped establish Veteran’s Way at the branch in Chapleau.

He also served as a town councillor and then as Reeve of Chapleau from October 10th, 1986, to November 1990 and again from January 1, 1991, to December 31, 1997.

In what little spare time he had, he enjoyed fishing, travelling, golfing and playing a game or two of pool, and helping organize events, such as the annual winter carnivals, special visits by dignitaries and he always loved a great parade.

Ken was also known for his singing abilities having taken part in many productions over the years, writing his own plays, directing the theatre in Chapleau, and taking great pride in singing the National Anthem for notables at many events.

As per his wishes, Kenneth will be cremated with a Celebration of Life set for Sunday, November 6th from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Espanola Royal Canadian Legion Branch #39 in Espanola. Donations to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch Espanola Branch #39 or Chapleau Branch #5 in his name would be appreciated.

A special thank you goes out to Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay for the wonderful care, especially for Gloria Hall, during the last few years of his life.

A full life, you have done your duty Dad. You are loved and your memories will be cherished. Until we meet again One Enchanted Evening, go to your rest at God’s right hand. Lest We Forget …


You held my hand when I was small

You caught me when I fell

You are the hero of my childhood

And my later years as well

Every time I think of you

My heart swells with pride

Though I will always miss you Dad

I know you are by my side

In laughter and in sorrow

In sunshine and in rain

I know you are watching over me

Until We Meet Again

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