Music 21

Reginald Kieth Russell

October 4, 1968 ~ December 24, 2020 (age 52)


Reginald (Reggie) K. Russell. A devoted son. A proud brother. A committed husband. An adoring father. And on NFL Sundays, a loyal fan who wore an unwashed Bucs jersey that smelled of season-old nachos and cheese. But on Friday, October 4, 1968 in Valdosta, Georgia, when James and Brenda Russell first laid eyes on their first-born, they had no idea what to expect, or the parents, mentors, and heroes they would become to him. So, they hedged their bets and… then there were three. Being the eldest to sister, Tamara Russell, and brother, Brett Russell, was a dubious task, but Reggie was not only up for the challenge, he relished every moment of it - from childhood through adulthood - every conversation, every debate, every laugh. Reggie loved and admired them both: Tamara’s artistry and shared love of music, and Brett’s intellect and leadership or as Reggie often said: “Brett will rule the world one day.”

Reggie graduated from Ramstein American High at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany with not only a high school diploma but also with lifelong friendships that would help steer him to the man he would become. He left Germany at the age of 17 for the wilting heat of his forever home in Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico where he excelled as a student athlete playing “footie” for the Lobos while he studied both Psychology and Sociology, and co-founded Phi Delta Theta. Reggie nurtured his musical passion throughout university, co-founding Giant Steps, a band he joked with his bandmates that he only started to have a way to drink beer with his buddies. Reggie also found the unexpected in university: a lifelong
companion, best friend, lover, sounding board, cheerleader, advisor, and partner through every avenue in the journey of his life. Heather. Reggie’s classic love story. Reggie adored Heather and her family, and the feelings were mutual. And on Saturday, June 18, 1994, they wed.

Then on one faithful NFL Sunday many years later, Reggie wasn’t wearing his love repellent Bucs jersey. And nine months after - on August 22, 2003 - Reggie welcomed his proudest accomplishment. The jewel of his heart. His daughter, Evann. “What happened last night”, he would ask her every morning, reminding Evann after every sleep that she was smarter and prettier. Evann would smile, a smile that would melt his heart and wrap him around her finger. There was little Reggie wouldn’t do for Evann. And by little, I mean nothing. When Evann was just a tot, she couldn’t go to bed without playing Giant Robot with her dad, a game they played to say goodnight to every room: “I love you very much, and I’ll see you when the sun comes up,” they’d say. There were a lot of rooms so Evann shortened it to “Oh much N sun.” Reggie will rest easy knowing his daughter is much like him - honorable, chivalrous, and dutiful - and that Evann will continue to be a free spirit and spin, dance, and laugh to Nora Jones’ “7 years.”

Reggie also dearly loved his 11 nieces and nephews and prided himself on having played a part in their upbringing and success. Helping mentor and guide each of them - from music to love and everything in between, filled Reggie with pleasure, and he looked forward to their bright futures.

Reggie had an illustrious career as a digital strategist and consultant pushing the innovative boundaries of the imagination and critical thinking across industries. He was a brilliant executive, an inspiring colleague, a proud mentor, a loyal friend, and above all, he wanted to help those around him achieve something new and exciting. And for over 30 years, throughout all his business endeavors, he was clearly indispensable… but his exact position and job titles remain a mystery.

Reggie will be lovingly remembered by his parents, James, and Brenda; wife, Heather; daughter, Evann; sister, Tamara; brother, Brett and his wife Leanne; and numerous other family members and friends.

Reggie’s love of life didn’t come to an end with his passing on Dec 24, 2020, and his family would like you to celebrate his life and legacy by always keeping him in your mind and hearts…

“I love you very much, and I’ll see you when the sun comes up.”

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