Robert L Russell, Jr.

Born: 04/26/1962 Passed:

Robert L Russell, Jr. passed away on December 23 after a brief illness. He was 59 years old. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rob and Ereleen Russell, and his sister Gill Leaman. Robbie is survived by his wife Lisa Tom (Cincinnati, OH), his sister and brother-in-law, Becca Russell and Mike Woods (Kannapolis, NC), brother-in-law Stephen Leaman (Norfolk, VA), Lisa’s mother Mui, and sisters Jeannie, Grace, Cindy, Wonyee and Julie and their families. The number of extended family members and friends who knew and loved him is too lengthy to list, but they are all intertwined in his life and his story.

Robbie graduated from Concord High School in 1980 and North Carolina State University in 1985 where he earned a BS in Civil Engineering. While at NC State, he was selected for the Navy’s Reserve Officer in Training Corps. Upon graduation, Robbie served as a Commissioned Officer in the US Navy Civil Engineer Corp where he managed Public Works programs at Norfolk Naval Station, led operations for Navy Seabee detachments in the Philippines and Kennebunkport Maine, and managed Construction and Engineering projects at the Presidential Retreat Camp David, and the White House Military Office. After eight years of active duty, Robbie left the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in the inactive reserves.

After the Navy, Robbie joined Fluor Daniel in Greenville, SC. He was a program manager for projects worldwide. He received his Professional Engineer (PE) designation while at Fluor. Robbie then brought his project management skills to the financial services industry when he joined a US subsidiary of Zurich Financial in Baltimore. He then moved to Los Angeles to take on major IT systems upgrades at Farmers Insurance. He met and married Lisa in LA. They moved to Cincinnati in 2012 when Robbie joined American Risk Services, a small but fast growing insurance company, as its Operations Executive.

Robbie liked to say that he didn’t have a lot of friends, but he had good friends. It’s probably accurate to say he had more truly deep friendships than most people do. Chances are if you were Robbie’s friend, you considered him one of your very best friends. He was always giving, always happy, always focused on you and the things going on in your life. He somehow remained the same person that he was growing up, so whether you knew him in high school, in the Navy, or professionally – he was just Robbie.

Robbie loved ketchup on his steak, soft white bread for sandwiches and green bean casserole. He loved watching football and was a long suffering Washington fan. He was always up for catching footballs in the front yard with the kids in the neighborhood. Robbie and Lisa loved traveling to visit family and friends. He was as content visiting on the couch as he was running around NYC with Lisa and her sisters. After family and friends, his next great love was playing the drums which he did nearly his entire life.

Robbie didn’t marry soon, but he married well – and when he did, he devoted himself completely as a loving and faithful husband to Lisa. They were a perfect match and shared their love for each other with everyone they knew. A better husband, a better son, a better brother, or a better friend you will never find. He will be desperately missed by those who knew and loved him, but he will also be ever present in our hearts.

A celebration of life service will be held in Concord, NC at a future date. Memorials may be made to the Transplant House of Cleveland.


7 Tributes to Robert L Russell, Jr.

  1. Jeff Littlefield and Wonyee Tom says:

    We are very thankful to Lisa for bringing Robbie into our lives, first as a brother in law, and very soon after as a dear friend.
    We had many fun times together and Robbie will be missed.
    Robbie put up with a bunch of crazy stuff that we put him through including numerous cake deliveries (nobody looked better in a Chefs Jacket), being an “Uncle” to numerous unruly dogs, and me insisting on hearing his Navy stories year after year.
    He was always exciting to talk to and we will miss hearing “That’s Excellent!!” when we spoke.
    Until we meet again, Rest In Peace Gum Gum.

  2. Michelle Wong says:

    Aloha, Uncle Robbie!

    Thank you for being such a source of joy in Auntie Lisa and our entire family’s life. Your effervescence, sincerity, goofiness and intuitive kindness are greatly missed, but not gone. We will forever hold you in our heart, memories, holiday gatherings, celebrations and tender moments. May you forever be catching the ethereal football and laugh in company of other loved ones. We love you and miss you.

  3. sheila underwood says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I worked with Robbie at ARS and he was the kindest person I know. He always checked on me after having my cancer and he cared about what was going on with my life and I’ll never forget that. He was a good man and I will miss him dearly. Rest in Peace Robbie and I hope to see you again someday!

  4. Destini Mahaffey says:

    I came to ARS in Feb 2019. I didn’t know him as long as some of the other employees but the few short years I did know him was wonderful. He was truly a blessing. One of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever worked for. He always asked about how my dad was doing and how I was doing and during the shutdown he called several times to each of us to check on us and see how we were doing. I will never forget our phone conversations and the laughs we had during difficult times. What a great guy he was and always so positive. He will truly be missed. Sending prayers

  5. Jacqueline Walton says:

    Robbie was a very great person. He cared about his employees at American Risk Services, he called to check on us all the time, during the Pandemic. We all loved him at American Risk Services. He will truly be missed. Such a tragedy, It fees like a dream. I will always remember him and keep him in my heart.

    I will missed you dearly Robbie

  6. O’Marie and Alejandro Crespo says:

    Lisa is very special to us so when we heard about Robbie for the first time, we knew we were going to meet a very special man who had captured her heart. It was easy to see that they were meant for each other. Robbie was such a pure and tender soul, a loving husband, son, brother and friend. He seemed to know what was important in life and how to enjoy the simple pleasures to the fullest.
    We will always remember Robbie, our brother and friend and the fun memories we shared with him and Lisa.
    We are thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to know such a wonderful human being.
    Love and prayers,
    O’Marie and Alejandro Crespo

  7. Margaret Littlefield says:

    I had the privilege of meeting Robbie when he and Lisa lived in California. Although it has been many years since seeing him, I will always remember his smiling eyes, his laugh and what a kind gentleman he was. He accomplished so much in his short lifetime and I would have loved to had the opportunity to hear about his adventures in the Navy. My heartfelt sympathy and love to Lisa, her family and to all who were lucky enough to have known Robbie.
    It’s really hard to lose the “good ones” and he really was.

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