Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Don Russell Handley was the first child of Jeanette Irene and Don Russell Handley. His sister, Julie, born a few years later was a constant companion, often competitive, but holding her brother in great esteem, and other, in annoyance.
Because he was a “junior,” Don introduced himself as Russ Handley. With his love of music, which became his forte, he enjoyed piano bars, the popular music of the day copied by Russ. He especially appreciated Louis Armstrong. Recognized for his gravely voice, he was often requested to sing as Louis, enabling him to be the star of the style.
Russ’s first marriage to Rosalee brought them three children, Jennifer Lynn, Don Jr. and Robert “Bobby;” she preceded him in death. His second marriage to Wanda Rose also gave him two more children, Kevin and Anne. He was married to Karen for 27 years before Russ’ death on September 13.
His children remember him as fun-loving, funny, knowledgeable, grateful, a Christian, supportive, loving sentimental, affectionate and hard working. He was known for his love of music, history and sports, and as an athlete, outgoing, and always well dressed. He enjoyed the outdoors, adored children and was a dog lover.
His memberships included the Rotary Club of Arlington and Fort Worth; Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Worth.
A Celebration of His Life will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, October 7, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 3621 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to Trinity Lutheran Church or to a charity of your choice, in his memory, is suggested.