Warren (Grandpa) Russell, a Downey resident for the past 32 years passed away on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at the age of 86 in Los Angeles. Warren had been hospitalized recently with medical issues and passed away at USC Medical Center.Warren was born May 21, 1924, in Kansas to Albert and Florence Russell and eventually migrated to California with his family at a very early age. The Russell family settled in Los Angeles where Warren would meet the love of his life Evelyn (Evie) while they were in the fourth grade. Warren and Evie made their love official when they were married on September 26th, 1942, at the age of eighteen. Warren would join the service shortly after his marriage and served with the Merchant Marines during World War II in 1943 and 1944. After the service Warren and Evie moved around but would eventually make the City of Downey their home in the 1970's. Warren and his brother Cleo owned and operated Russell and Russell Scaffolding and Grandstands in Los Angeles where they would operate for 40 years. Warren's business would provide scaffolding and grandstands for many prestigious events such the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles and the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. Aside from his soul mate Evie the other true passion in Warren's life was racing. It didn't matter what kind of racing it was as long as it moved fast in the water or on the racetrack. At different times throughout his life Warren sponsored or owned raceboats, racecars and motorcycles. Up until a couple of years ago Warren and Evie would make their annual trip back to Indianapolis for the Indy 500. It didn't matter which generation of past and present racers were at the track at the time, Warren would keep them laughing with practical jokes and stories that earned him the distinction of "world's greatest storyteller." In recent years Warren's main focus was on motorcycle speedway racing. He was a constant presence at the Orange County Speedway and came to be affectionately known as "grandpa" to all of the racers, pit crews and spectators for his friendship and generosity. Warren would not hesitate to offer any kind of support he could for those less fortunate than he was. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather to his immediate family and an irreplaceable father figure to the extended family of people whose lives he has touched forever. Warren is survived by his beautiful wife and best friend of 68 years, Evie; his son and daughter in law Don and Carrie Russell; son and daughter in law Ron and Carol Russell; grandchildren Steve and Ronnie; and four great grandchildren. Warren was preceded in death by his brother Cleo; his sister Arlis; and his grandson Donald. The service for Warren Russell was at Forrest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress on Tuesday, 10-19-10. There will be an additional memorial service for Warren at the Orange County Speedway located at the Orange County Fairgrounds on Sunday 10-24-10, at 1:00 P.M.
********** Published: October 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 27