Denver C. ‘Jack’ Russ, 88, one of the biggest Carolina Tar Heels fans in the county

Denver C. ‘Jack’ Russ

WILMINGTON — Denver C. “Jack” Russ peacefully passed away while surrounded by loved ones when the Lord called him home Saturday afternoon, April 10, 2021. Jack was a young 88 years old at heart.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert Russ and Maxine Rivenbark of Wilmington; and wife of 45 years, Doris Ann Russ of Wilmington.

He is survived by three children, Wendy D. Byrd, and her husband, Alan T. Byrd, Charles Clinton Russ, and Felicia Lynn Blake, and her significant other, Wesley Robison; along with eight grandchildren, Tennille Gore, Luke Byrd, Amanda Batts, Phillip Morse, Brian Russ, Nolan Russ, Joshua Russ and Jacob Russ; and 14 great-grandchildren, Raegan, Ryleigh, Kennedy, Kayleigh Rae, Kenzie, Gracelyn, Easton, Charlotte, Hayden, Ava, Laethan, Landon, Lydia and Carson.

Jack was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, uncle and true friend. He was humble, selfless and kind to all who knew him. His sense of loyalty and forgiveness was beyond measure. His sense of humor never faded, despite his battle with lung disease; he even made his great-granddaughter, Raegan, laugh at “silly Papa Jack” the day prior to his passing. To many who loved him, he was known as “silly Papa Jack.” If you needed a smile, Jack was the man who had just the right joke to help brighten your day.

Jack served in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Harold J. Ellison from 1949 to 1953. After his service time ended, he came back home to Wilmington, where he then worked at Babcock & Wilcox for over 20 years. While he spent many years working at the boiler plant, his true passion was living for God and loving his family. He also worked for his church, Myrtle Grove Presbyterian Church, for over 20 years before he retired.

His grandchildren were his joy, heart and delight; he eagerly participated in any function or family event, where he could make new, joyous memories with them. He enjoyed reading thrillers and murder mysteries, doing daily crossword puzzles, was an avid seafood connoisseur and one of the biggest Carolina Tar Heels fans in the county. From his early childhood, his hobbies included saltwater fishing, playing cards and watching Tar Heels basketball.

A graveside service, to celebrate his life here on earth and his new life in heaven, followed by burial will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 15, at Greenlawn Memorial Park. The service will be officiated by Pastor Phil Ortego.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Lower Cape Fear LifeCare.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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