David was born at Stephenville Crossing to Eric and Marion Russell on May 10, 1960. He attended St. Michael's Elementary and Assumption High School. After graduating Assumption, David became a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and was stationed in Shilo, Alberta, where he served for two years.
In December of 1979, David married his highschool sweetheart, Dale White. They lived in Alberta until David's tour with the Canadian Forces was completed and then returned to live in Stephenville Crossing. David worked around the area at construction for a while and then decided that he wanted a career in forestry. He went to Forest Ranger School in New Brunswick and upon graduation got a job with the Department of Forestry in St. George's. David and Dale have three children, Scott, Katie and Erica.
One of David's strongest traits was his sense of humour. Whenever he walked into a room, everyone knew he was there. It was almost impossible to get the best of David in a joke. He always had a come-back. His good nature made him many friends in all age groups.
David was always eager to learn something new and continually took whatever courses were offered through his work. He was always a conscientious and hard worker. His work life was second only to his family life. He loved his work and often marveled that he was actually being paid to do something he loved so much. David became a fully qualified St. John Ambulance Instructor and taught many courses in First Aid in the area.
David's life as a volunteer in the Community began with the Air Cadet movement in Stephenville Crossing. He was one of the first Officers with the 885 Stephenville Crossing Air Cadet Squadron. Once he had children, his volunteerism grew even more. He worked with the Parks and Recreation Department in Town, the PTA at St. Michael's School, the Stephenville Crossing Volunteer Fire Department, the Stephenville Crossing Ground Search and Rescue Team, Minor Hockey, Scouting movement, Junior Golf Program, Diabetes Association and pretty much any other group or organization his children came in contact with over the years. Because of his volunteerism many children in the Guiding and Scout movements in Stephenville Crossing learned First Aid. Whenever a volunteer was needed, you could always count on David.
When the Departments of Forestry and Wildlife combined, David was eager to learn more about wildlife and as a result he became a member of the executive of a national wildlife officers association. His interest in wildlife led him to become an avid bird watcher and he was called upon by people to identify various species of strange birds found in the area.
David was instrumental in the planning and carrying out of thePrairie Pond Habitatproject and became the first Chairperson of the Stephenville Crossing Environmental Conservation Committee. As a tribute to his work in the community, the David Russell Memorial Garden,which is located in the Prairie Pond Habitat area, is dedicated to his memory.