Folsom Funeral Service

Russell, Henry “Tim”

Henry Edwards “Tim” Russell, jr  passed away unexpectedly from pneumonia at Newton Wellesley Hospital the morning of September 28th. Tim was known by many names, including “Darls”, “Dad”,  “Poppop”, “Russ” and “The Commish”, all of which reflect a very rich and balanced life. Although he was into his 6th year of Alzheimer’s, he still knew his whole family including children and grandchildren and close friends, kept the twinkle in his eye and was able to participate in family activities on Cape Cod this summer. We are profoundly grateful that he was spared the ordeal of advanced dementia.

Tim was born in Boston on December 10, 1942 to Louise “Weegie” Harding Russell and Henry Edwards Russell. He was blessed with an amazing family, a top-notch education, a passionate love of sports and classical music, an interesting career and years packed with varied travel experiences.

His days at Dexter, Noble and Greenough and Harvard were filled with classmates, many of whom would become lifelong friends. The school and college days were rich with sports and extracurricular activities. A good athlete, Tim played three varsity sports at Nobles; football quarterback, hockey goalie and baseball catcher. But at Nobles he developed another fervent interest –  classical music. Apparently he drove his roommates crazy playing Bach and Beethoven when they were in the mood for rock ‘n’ roll. But that love of music, particularly sacred choral music, became the center of his rich spiritual life.

At Harvard, friendships deepened and multiplied. He was a goalie on the varsity hockey team,  was an enthusiastic participant in house football and  an avid member of the Owl Club.

Tim had a big extended family and he and many of his 26 Harding first cousins summered with their grandparents in Cataumet. At his telling, days from dawn to dusk were spent  sailing, swimming and boating. When not on the water, he and his siblings and cousins were found on the tennis court or “capturing the flag”.   As one friend put it, “just give Tim a ball, any ball, and within two minutes he will have invented at least three  games.”

After Harvard, he spent time in advertising, served as a business editor of Harvard magazine after which he joined Advest Financial.  Later he co-founded Investor Relations Support, Inc. (IRSCo) which worked as a liaison between  public companies and the broad investor community. One major focus was research into the geopolitics of the region, OPEC strategy and its effect  on the production and pricing of oil and the impact on the global economy .  He led over a dozen long trips to virtually every country in the region, introducing his clients to ambassadors, prime ministers, oil and finance ministers and several heads of state on multiple occasions –  including King Hussein of Jordan, Hafez al-Assad of Syria and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

As a longtime member of The Country Club in Brookline, Tim took to paddle tennis with a vengeance. Known to the paddle teams as one of the three “Paddle Gods” at TCC,  he engineered the expansion of the paddle league  to over 12 clubs each with multiple lines.   The infamous close-knit B Team would designate Tim “The Commish” for his 10-year role as TCC Paddle Chair and commissioner of the league.

His  commitment to classical music was pursued throughout his entire life. He studied classical music  and sang with the university choir at Harvard. After graduation, he sang with the  Dedham Choral Society, then followed  Brian Jones to Trinity Church Boston where he not only sang for 15 years with the choir but helped arrange two international trips during which the choir performed at multiple locations in England and  in Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Subsequently, Tim and Brian co-founded the Copley Singers, an elite group of voices, some professional and some members of the Tanglewood Chorus. The Copley singers have engagements around Boston but have also performed in Bermuda and were honored to sing – along from choirs from Pennsylvania and Washington DC   – at the memorial service at Trinity Wall Street after the 9/11 attacks.

Just as some of the happiest times of Tim’s young life were spent on Cape Cod, so were his later years. He and his wife, Dianne, spent their summers in or near the same little cove on which Tim had grown up. They established a “Cape Week” for the grandchildren during which parents were not allowed. Those weeks were packed with every conceivable water activity, tennis matches, field trips,  games and nighttime poetry readings, songs and prayers. After the sacrosanct sunsets, each evening Meema and Poppop hosted quite proper family dinners during which the cousins would challenge each other to an amazingly high standard of table manners.

Tim leaves his wife of 42 years, Dianne Hyde Russell;  his son Henry Edwards  “Tim” Russell, III,  and wife Natasha: his son Ward West Russell and wife Nicole;  his stepson Gregory Hyde Williams and wife Francoise and his brother William Eustis “Bill” Russell his wife Jan and three children, Jonathan, Whitney and Kristen.  He leaves also the six apples of his eye, Amelia and Timmy Russell, Austin and Eliza Russell and Isabella and Cavanagh Williams.

A Celebration of  Tim’s Life Will be held at Trinity Church Boston sometime in early November.
Contributions may be made to  the Cure Alzheimers Fund, 34 Washington St, Suite 310, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 or online at

Guestbook Entries

  1. Nancy Rowlinson
    February 6th, 2024 | 1:29 am

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Tim was my boss at IRSCO for many years. He was always kind,funny,and upbeat. I would write out his itineraries for his mid east trips, and he always said, “good job!” When you did something right, he always let you know.

    I will always have good memories of our work at IRSCO. Thanks so much, Tim.

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Folsom Funeral Service

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