In memoriam - Dr. Earl Russell

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Western professor emeritus, alumnus and philanthropist Dr. Earl Russell was a respected physician and member of the legendary class of Meds '50, who dedicated much of his life to alleviating human pain.

Dr. Russell was a faculty member from 1968 to 1981 in the Department of Anaesthesia. He was Chief of Anaesthesia at Four Counties General Hospital in Newbury and an advisor at Moose Factory General Hospital. He was a member of the staff at Kingston General Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Care, St. Mary's Hospital, and the London Health Sciences Centre and, from 1972-1974, President and acting chair of the medical staff at Westminster Hospital in London.

His interest in pain management and career in anaesthesia began as a young doctor serving in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. Dr. Russell remained active in treating patients until his retirement in 2007, devoting three days a week to provide pain relief for 70-80 patients, who visited him at busy rural clinics in Ingersoll and Newbury.

In 1999, a generous gift from Dr. Russell to Western established the Earl Russell Chair in Pain Management at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, which is currently held by Dr. Dwight Moulin. Dr. Russell and his family have continued to support this chair to facilitate important research in pain management. In recognition of his outstanding contributions as a physician, teacher, mentor and philanthropist,Dr. Russell received an Honorary Degree from Western during spring convocation in 2006. You can listen to his convocation address at:

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marjorie (Midge), four daughters , nine grandchildren, two step grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be on Wednesday, October 15 from 7 to 9 pm and Thursday, October 16 from 2 to 4 pm and 7 to 9 pm at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, London. A Memorial Service will be conducted at Byron United Covenant Church, 420 Boler Road, London on Friday, October 17 at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked mourners to consider donations to the Earl Russell Chair in Pain Management at Western or the Byron United Memorial Fund.