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Russell Wood

December 8, 2016
Lake Placid News

Our community has lost a wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend. Russell Wood left this world on Nov. 29, 2016, after having spent a wonderful evening with his family. He will live on in our hearts and continue to remind us of the simplicities of life and those who are of most value.

Russell Paul Wood ("Woody") was born on June 1, 1958, in Lake Placid, the son of Eugene and Donna (Haig) Wood. According to his father, Russell was named after an auto group called the Russell Auto Company and his maternal grandfather Paul Mayotte. Russ was the oldest of five siblings and worked alongside his father and brothers at Gene's Shell Service Station for many years while attending Lake Placid High School. Russ was a 1976 graduate of the first graduating class of Adirondack Christian Day School in Wilmington and entered the United States Naval Academy in Orlando, Florida, following graduation. Russ served as private first class of the USS Nitro AE-23, employed as an electrician, and returned to Lake Placid following an honorable discharge. Russ held memorable jobs besides the family business and was well known by many community members due to his involvement with the Lake Placid Fire Department, the Panthers and Lake Placid Hockey Association. Russ was employed by the town of North Elba, the Lake Placid Club and Olympic Ski Jumping Complex and served as a volunteer at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Russ also worked at the Lake Placid Manor (Lake Placid Lodge) and contributed over 23 years to the Holiday Inn (Crowne Plaza).

Rusty was an avid sports enthusiast whose goal in life was to be a sports announcer. His favorite teams were the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Giants and, of course the Rangers. It was not uncommon to see him sporting his favorite jersey or team hat as he recalled countless close plays, miraculous turnovers, unexpected losses or sensational outcomes. When he was not helping family or friends with a project, Russ' interests included fishing, hunting and softball. His favorite passion, however, was hockey: playing with his brothers and friends on the family pond, taking on his favorite position as master goalie the protector.

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Russ was a pleasure to have at every gathering with his wealth of information and uncanny ability to recall the score of any game, not excluding plays, famous names, a birthdate or historical event. He always provided amusing entertainment around a dinner table, hunting camp, family living room or moonlit lakeside fire. He was the easiest guest to please who loved to show up for a visit, prior to cellphones and answering machines, never expecting anything in return while offering his sincere friendship and company. Russ unsurpassed the meaning of loyalty when it came to family, friends, employers and community. He was a helper of many, living the Emerson philosophy of "The only true gift, is a portion of thyself."

Russell is survived by his father Eugene Wood and his mother and stepfather Donna and Kelly Haig. He had a special bond with his siblings: David (Roxanne), Dan (Angela), Scott (Kylie) and sister Noelle (Todd). Russ grew up alongside his aunts and uncles: Nancy and Ken Foster, Michael Wood, Wayne and Lois Mayotte. Russ was a loving and sincere cousin who cherished fun times with Mark, Jay and Cheryl; Paula and Daryl; Diana, Sheila, Chrissy and Patti. Russ was an amazing uncle and is survived by his six nieces and nephews, whom he considered his own children in many ways. His legacy lives on through Christopher Wood (Erin), Ellysia Blinn (Jereme), Trevor Sussey, Justine Benoit (Bill), Jeremy Wood and Zachary Wood. Russ also was fortunate to know and loved his grandnieces and grandnephews: Madison, Jack, Daron, Dannie and Judah.

Russ will be greeted by his grandparents Paul and Ilean Mayotte and Roland and Helen Wood, and his aunt Cindy Mayotte.

Calling hours will be held at the M.B. Clark Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 with an American Legion prayer service at 7:45 p.m. A funeral service will be held at noon on Dec. 3 at M.B. Clark Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid with Pastor Richard Reese officiating. Burial with honors will take place at North Elba Cemetery with reception immediately following at American Legion Post 326. Those wishing to make donations in Rusty's memory, please feel free to consider the Lake Placid Fire Department or High Peaks Hospice. The family would like to extend a special thanks to High Peaks Hospice, Adirondack Health, the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center and the residents of Keeseville Country Gardens.



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