He would do anything for anyone, and as long as I have known him was a hard worker who loved to work and be busy. He was married twice, and had been separated from his last wife since last year. He had three children, was stepfather to two, and Grandfather of six. He loved children.
Russell was also an alcoholic. He tried to quit several times, and was doing okay for a while. He had his ups and downs and at times life just seemed to hard for him. He was always was sober when we got together. It was like he felt strong enough to say no when he was among his family and friends. He was the kind of guy everyone liked. His employers liked him so much in fact they drove him to rehab, got him odd jobs, included him in their family events. Russ was never afraid to help out, he never put on airs or pretended to be anything he wasn't. I posted this picture given to me today by his former employers wife, Gail. You see they had invited him to their daughters wedding. Gail even took him to get a haircut and suit to wear. When the bartender had not shown up in time, he took a tray and started serving. No one had to ask. He was just happy to be there, always happy to help. That was Russ.
I think it broke their heart to have to lay him off when the economy tanked. They kept in touch, and promised to take him back if things got better. They never got the chance. He stayed with us for Thanksgiving, and then for a time he stayed with our sister, Kim, and her family. He did not live far, but was difficult to reach him as his cell phone service was poor. He loved to cook and would often make dinner to take to the people where he used to work.
On Wednesday my brother Russell passed away. He was only 53, he was not drunk, there was no alcohol, or drugs in his system. What started with a cold, became pneumonia. Russ had COPD from years of smoking. and he had no insurance. He tried to take care of himself, and did not tell us. On Monday he could not breathe, and thought he was having a heart attack. he must have been delirious when he walked to the middle of the road and passed out. Someone called for help. When he became conscious they asked him who to contact. He gave them Kim's number, but he made a mistake on the last digit.
When they could not reach her they never thought to cross check the name for the correct number. When someone finally thought to do this, Wednesday afternoon, it was too late. They finally reached Kim later that evening. She called and we all raced to get to him. We were too late, my brother left us at 6:30pm.
It has been a difficult three days. Russ left no will, only a request on a statement indicating that my sister Kim was to be his beneficiary. My sisters and I have been running, filing papers, cleaning his apartment, making arrangements. His funeral was today, the service was lovely, his friends and family gathered and shared fond memories of Russ. It has been a long hard three days, with more ahead. He will be laid to rest Friday, we have to gather once again to say good-bye. I miss him, I love him, good, bad, all of it.
Russell Ernest Glentz
September 29, 1955 - August 19, 2009