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Robert Russ

NATCHEZ — Services Robert David “Bobby” Russ, 69, of Natchez, who died Sunday March 6, 2011, at his residence, will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Laird Funeral Home in Natchez.

Burial will follow under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday and from 9 a.m. until service time Tuesday at the funeral home.

Bobby was born on Dec. 28, 1941, to James A. Russ and Clara McFadden Russ. He graduated from Natchez High School in 1959. He was a member of the football team and received an honorable mention All Big Eight award his senior year. Bobby graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1965 with a bachelor’s of science in business. While at USM, he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. After graduating from USM, he continued supporting his alma mater, especially USM football. This avid fan never missed a home game for 30 years. As a USM fan, he was a member of the Eagle Club and the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation Board of Directors. He was the president of the Adams County USM Alumni Association and the recipient of the outstanding service award.

He was a vital part of Russ Construction Company and became president and part owner in 1978 where he remained until 1988. In 1989, he became director of Small Business Development Center at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the first community college in Mississippi to have the SBDC program. He received the “Star Performer” award from the National Association of Small Business Development Centers in 1996. This award recognized him as one of the top 15 SBDC directors in the U.S. selected from 950 candidates nation-wide. In 1997, he was selected by his peers as the top SBDC director in the State of Mississippi. He remained there until his retirement in 2005.

He was actively involved in the community as a member of Rotary, Kiwanis and Jaycees. He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the chamber in 2001. He was a member of Saint Mary Basilica. He was an avid golfer, racquetball player, a great cook, a loving father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, James M. “Sonny” Russ and his sister, Edith Jane McGivaren.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Suzi; his children, Kurt Russ and wife, Jennifer, Julie Simmons and husband, Richard and Chandler Russ and wife, Sarah; six grandchildren, Chandler Russ, Annie Russ, Katherine Simmons, Richard Simmons, John David “Jack” Russ and Robert Noah Russ.

Honorary pallbearers are Edward “Scrappy” Barrett, Bruce Bienvenu, Robert Dossett, Sterling Dossett, Darius “Dee” Hall, Charles Jennings, Duke Mallory, Ronnie Nettles, Robert “Bob” Owens, Don Shelton, Will Warren, Bogulasa friends and his USM tailgating buddies.

Special thanks to Lou Thompson, Cindy Thompson, Gloria Jackson, Dr. Jeff Anderson, and the nursing staff at NRMC.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to Cathedral School or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lairdfh.com.

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