Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
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Russell D. Thompson, most recently of Austin, Texas passed away peacefully April 22, 2022, from complications related to myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder he fought head-on for ten years.
Russ was born on June 2, 1946, in Pa... Read More
Russell D. Thompson, most recently of Austin, Texas passed away peacefully April 22, 2022, from complications related to myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder he fought head-on for ten years.
Russ was born on June 2, 1946, in Pasadena, Texas and he remained a Texan through and through, no matter where life took him his cowboy boots and hat were always near at hand. He was extremely proud of his family's long Western heritage and regaled everyone with stories of his early years in East Texas and childhood visits to his grandmother's homestead in Oklahoma. Russ graduated from Pasadena High School in 1964 and went on to graduate from the University of Houston in 1968 with a degree in English. His first career was as an educator and he taught English, Math, French and History at middle school and high school levels in Houston area schools. Russ truly loved learning and reading, could recite poetry from memory, and was never without a book in progress. He was voracious in any new pursuit and became an expert on many topics and activities including cars, birds, woodworking, hunting, guns, fishing, painting, landscaping, and even cooking.
Russ loved all things automotive and following his move to Boulder, Colorado he was able to convert this into a successful second career in car sales. No one knew more about trucks, and he could name make, model and year for any vehicle ever made. Russ retired early to have time for what he called his real passions, spending time with his family and birdwatching. He was a much-loved husband and a tremendous father, and considered his years spent with his family his greatest fortune. He truly loved nature and almost every vacation was a trip to a National Park, a love he passed on to his children. As a true birder he has a lifelist of birds that rivals some of the best having completed his dream trips to Alaska and Central America along with countless trips for bird migrations in across the U.S. He embraced his move to upstate New York with its new adventures and was thrilled to be able to return home to Texas for his last two years. He spent every morning outside, enjoying the scenery and whatever birds he could spot that day, right up until the very last weeks of his life.
Russ is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lori, his three children Emily (Thompson) Chavez, John (Jack) Thompson and Scorpio Steele, and his son-in-law Kevin Chavez. He had a community of friends and fellow outdoorsmen and women including his dear lifelong friend, Gene Doggett. He was preceded in death by his parents, J.M. and Alberta Thompson and his sister Judy Ann (Thompson) Weede.
In lieu of flowers or gifts the family requests contributions be made in Russ' name to the National Parks Foundation http://give.nationalparks.org/goto/Russ_Thompson or the Texas Ornithological Society (texasbirds.org). A memorial service celebrating Russ' life will be for friends and family in the coming weeks.
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