- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Edgar F. Russell Jr., 77, retired Navy captain

Edgar Farr Russell Jr., a retired U.S. Naval Reserve captain and lifelong resident of the District, died Oct. 24 of cancer in a hospital in Newark, N.J., after attending a play “Triumph and Tragedy in the Air.” He was 77.

The play, written by his older son, was inspired by family history in connection with the Wright brothers’ military flight trials at Fort Myer in 1908 and 1909. The play was dedicated to Mr. Russell.

Born and raised in the District, he graduated from Western High School in 1945, where he had served as captain of Company K of the Washington, D.C., Corps of Cadets.

He graduated in 1949 from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a bachelor’s degree. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Naval Reserve. He also received a U.S. Coast Guard unlimited license as third mate.

Mr. Russell attended Georgetown University as an Adm. McNulty scholar from 1949 to 1951 and received a master’s degree in international relations. He served on active duty in the U.S. Maritime Service in 1951 and 1952.

On June 14, 1952, he married Jean Neely Peake of Rock Hill, S.C.

He then entered active duty in the Navy to attend a postgraduate course at the U.S. Naval Intelligence School. After graduating, he was assigned to intelligence duty in Charleston, S.C. Upon release from active duty in June 1954, he became an intelligence analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence.

In 1963, Mr. Russell was transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency. Three years later, he was selected to attend the senior resident course in naval warfare at the U.S. Naval War College. He graduated in June 1967.

In 1972, he was appointed administrative assistant to Rep. Thomas S. Gettys, South Carolina Democrat. A year later, he returned to naval intelligence and served as naval reserve intelligence program coordinator for the Naval Intelligence Support Center. He retired in 1987.

During that period, he commanded Naval Intelligence Command Reserve Unit 406 and Naval Reserve Intelligence Volunteer Training Unit 106. In 1983, he was retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve as a captain.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Mr. Russell’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal.

He was a life member of the St. Andrew’s Society. He was appointed a colonel in the Newport, R.I., Artillery, and also was made a Kentucky Colonel by the state’s governor.

Since the 1930s, he attended All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church, where he served as a member of the vestry and as director of acolytes.

His wife Jean died in 2000.

He is survived by two sons, Edgar Farr Russell III of the District, and Frazier Neely Southey Russell of New York City.

He will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

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