Anthony (Tony) Russell
Feb. 5, 1922 – Oct. 24, 2021
Tony Russell died peacefully on Sunday morning, Oct. 24, 2021, at the Golden Eagle View Nursing Home in Canmore, Alberta. Tony was 99 years old and passed away just 3 months before his 100th birthday.
Tony was born in 1922 in a family of eight children in Glasgow, Scotland to parents of Lithuanian descent. Despite growing up in a large family in the “mean streets” of East Glasgow during the Depression, Tony was a talented student and was offered a scholarship at St. Mungo’s Academy. He was very physically strong as a youth; he and his brothers helping his father deliver coal by horse and cart.
As soon as he turned 18, Tony enlisted in the army, serving with the Scots Guards, Gordon Highlanders and the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. He was taken prisoner Italy in 1943 and spent the next 18 months as a P.O.W. in a camp in Dessau, Germany, enduring forced labour in Junkers wagon works plant. In 1944, Tony was liberated from the P.O.W. camp. Tony was one of only seven survivors of that camp. Six weeks later Tony returned to duty, serving in Africa, Italy, and Germany, prior to his discharge in 1947.
Upon returning to Glasgow, Tony met the love of his life, a beautiful young conductress, Mary Blackwood, who worked on the Glasgow Tram System. They were married in 1948 and celebrated their 71st anniversary on Jan. 23, 2019. Mary passed away on Nov. 30, 2019. Following the war, Tony lived a varied life, between singing, ship building, electrical maintenance, and pub work. Tony and Mary immigrated to Canada in 1963, settling in Canmore with their four children. In Canada, Tony worked at a number of jobs, most notably the Canmore Mines, the Banff Centre, Banff Upper Hot Springs and the supervising Parks Canada painter.
Tony contributed a lot to the fabric of the Canmore community. He was secretary-treasurer of the Canmore Legion. He was most proud that, under his leadership, the mortgage of the RCL Branch #3 was paid off completely. For this and his other service activities, Tony was awarded a Lifetime Membership. A devout Catholic, Tony volunteered for his parish in many capacities including singing in the choir and a lot of painting.
Tony was well-known for his sense of humour, his pride in his Scottish heritage and his love of family. He was a huge fan of both Canadian and Scottish Football (Celtic fan), and he was famous for his indoor Christmas displays. Tony was a life-long learner, well read about many topics including religion and politics. And a great conversationalist who will be dearly missed by his many friends.
The family would like to thank everyone at the Bow River Seniors’ Lodge and the Golden Eagle View Nursing Home for providing excellent care and support to both Tony and his family during the closing days of his life. We would like to thank Catherine McAllister, his caregiver, for the friendship and support she gave to Tony and our family. Much gratitude is extended to Dr. Kirk, Tony’s physician, for his outstanding care and guidance.
Due to Covid restrictions, funeral arrangements will be made a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Golden Eagle View Nursing Home, 1100 Hospital Drive Canmore T1W 1N2