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Booker Taliaferro Russell

Booker T. Russell, age 84, died at his home in Minneota on July 23, 2016. He had been struggling with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for several years. A private memorial gathering for family will be held at a later date. Russ, as he preferred to be called, was born on December 25, 1931, to Booker T. Wingard and Doris Wilson in Columbia, South Carolina. His childhood homes were in Columbia and in New York, with his Aunt Cleo, who was an actress at the Apollo Theatre. Russ would often appear with Cleo on-stage, as well. Finally, as a young teenager, Russ moved with his family to Chicago. In Chicago, Russ began working at Golden Rod Ice Cream, as he had previously worked with his father at a similar ice cream business in Columbia. Russ also had an interest in photography, and became affiliated with Valentine’s Photographers. Russ was drafted into the Army in 1953. He trained to be a member of the Military Police to be sent to Korea. However, the conflict was ended and he was sent to Germany, where he traveled by train across Europe as a Military Policeman. At the time of his death, Russ was a member of American Legion Post 199 in Minneota. After his military years, Russ continued his career as a school photographer, and eventually had his own studios in Chicago and Columbia. His areas of specialty were portraits and weddings. In fact, Russ met his wife, Marilyn Josephson, while taking pictures at the school where she was teaching. Russ and Marilyn were married on July 18, 1970. They enjoyed their life together, fishing, boating, bowling, gardening, cooking, and barbecuing. Russ and Marilyn also enjoyed travelling and spending time with his children and grandchildren. Russ is lovingly survived by his wife, Marilyn. He is also survived by a daughter, Gina, sons, Audie “Skip” and Gregory (Sara). Also surviving are grandchildren: Walter Davis, Crystal Russell, Ashley Russell; Brian and Bria-Danielle Williams; and Austin, McKenzie, Greyson, and Annessa Russell. His great-grandchildren: Craig, Melanie, Braden, Chandler, and Luke Davis and Aleah Russell; and Davion and Daniel Williams also survive him. In addition, Russ has one surviving sister, Vivian (Frank) Washington, and an uncle, Woodrow Wilson, as well as Marilyn’s brothers and sisters-in-law, Allan, Charles (Joan), and Les (Donna) Josephson. Russ was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Mildred and Helen; brother, James; step-brother, Ray Collins; and sister-in-law, Marlene Josephson. In Russ’s memory, his family requests that donations be sent in his name to the Veteran’s Park Memorial, at 502 Kennedy St. in Minneota, MN 56264.

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BOOKER TALIAFERRO RUSSELL Yesterday, on June 23rd, I lost my beloved great uncle, Uncle Book (Booker Taliaferro Russell). He was my grandmother's younger brother and was the last of a generation in my immediately family. Uncle Book was a veteran, a respected and well known photographer in Chicago and Columbia, SC. He passed away peacefully in the presence of his lovely wife Aunt Marilyn Russell in Minnesota. Uncle Book was one of my role models. My love for photography and cinematography was inspired by him. I loved visiting his studios and seeing the magic of photography, back drops, lighting, dark rooms, etc. I couldn't wait to see my uncle in the summers visiting South Carolina or when he would visit us in Chicago. He was excited that I took up the profession and I would excitedly share my work with him waiting for his approval. He also had a love for ghost stories and horror films. He was convinced that his plantation home in South Carolina was haunted and I ate up every story he would tell me. He inspired my love of horror movies and books. However, I refused to spend the night at that house! LOL My uncle was a great storyteller as well and he seemed to know everything about our family's history. I would call him just to pick his brain about our background and he would tell me these fascinating stories about his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and their travels. He and my grandmother were a wealth of information. That's where I began my love for genealogy. My uncle was a character. He didn't bite his tongue and he always spoke his mind, shot from the hip and didn't bite his tongue - a family trait. I thought he was one of the most handsome men I had ever seen and he talked like someone from the silver screen. I was fascinated by uncle and loved him dearly - even when we were at odds. I have the utmost respect for him and it always brought me joy to hear that he was proud of me and anything I had accomplished. I will miss him and his stories, his grumpiness, and his moments of tenderness. I love you uncle, rest in peace. Love, Quincy

Quincy Sep 27 2016 5:31 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Booker Russell

Krystal Russell Aug 25 2016 1:32 PM

There was a time once I recall well remembered and a time you'll be well thought of.

Krystal Russell Aug 25 2016 1:32 PM

Dear family of Russ, You have my deepest sympathy and condolences. Please know that you are thought of often and prayed for. May the God of comfort grant you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 "May Jehovah bless you and safeguard you. 25May Jehovah make his face shine upon you, and may he favor you. 26May Jehovah lift up his face toward you and grant you peace." Even I did not know Russ personally I often heard his daughter, Gina speak of him fondly. My heart goes out to you because I too know what it is like to lose a father. Especially a great Dad such as Russ. Please hold on to your precious memories until you meet again in a peaceful new world to make new ones. Jehovah God has promised this by means of his son, Jesus Christ and he does not lie. Hold on and have faith.

Bequeta Christian Aug 6 2016 6:21 PM

Jim and I want to send our deepest sympathy for your loss of Russ. We will remember the days you were at the bowling alley and how much joy you had sharing your gifts with us and the community. Wish it would have lasted longer. We also remember all the visits, your love of God and taking care of your garden. God be with you and give you comfort in His promise at Rev. 21:3-4 of no more pain and death. Hugs and prayers! Jim and Mari Jo Babcock

Mari Jo Babcock Jul 26 2016 1:39 AM