Russell Stearns Beede, 85, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2020 at his home in Westport, Massachusetts. He was born May 15, 1935 in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Robert Jenks Beede and Virginia Hopkins (Stearns) Beede.
Russell graduated from Milton Academy in 1953 and Williams College in 1957. After college, Russell attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and served as a Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Navy, from 1957-1960. He was stationed aboard the USS Casa Grande at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1962, he graduated from the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business with an M.B.A in accounting.
While in the Navy, Russell married Patricia Catherine Fleet of Cutchogue, Long Island, NY to whom he was married for 52 years before she passed away in 2011. Russell and Patricia had two daughters and a son. In 1962 they moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where they lived for the remainder of their marriage. In later years, Russell and Patricia spent weekends and summers in Westport, Massachusetts, where Russell loved to garden, sail and fish. After his wife's passing, Russell moved permanently to Westport.
Russell began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at the Boston office of Price Waterhouse & Co. where he developed a life-long interest in starting and managing small businesses. He later worked for Bangor Punta, co-founded CML Group, and served as CFO of Eastern Mountain Sports. Ever an entrepreneur, he was involved in many independent business ventures including Shaker Workshops furniture kits, Old Time Woodsman insect repellents, and local commercial real estate.
Russell was community-minded and supported many local charities. He volunteered at Emerson Hospital in Concord and served as a Board Member of several organizations including The Westport River Watershed Alliance and The Westport Land Conservation Trust. Russell was also instrumental in driving support for a town pool and fitness facility in Concord. The facility opened in 2006 and was named The Beede Center in recognition of Russell's and his wife Patricia's unflagging commitment to the project.
Russell had an adventurer's spirit and enjoyed traveling to far off destinations. He cycled with friends on several continents. Russell loved nature, especially the sea, and was perhaps happiest messing around in boats. A hunter-gatherer at heart, he taught his children how to fish, gather mussels, set lobster traps, and find quahogs with their bare feet. Russell was a deeply curious man, who read extensively throughout his life.
In addition to his wife Patricia, Russell was predeceased by his sister, Anne Beede Jencks, and his brother, Robert Jenks Beede, Jr. Russell is survived by his daughter Susan Fleet Beede and husband Jay Copeland of Concord, MA; daughter Kimberly Beede Soule and husband Richard Havelock Soule of Brooklyn, NY; and son Robert Jenks Beede and wife Katherine Godfrey Beede of Concord, MA. Russell is also survived by eight grandchildren and his sister in-law Jaquelin Perry Fleet.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in 2021.