Russell Wheeler Simms

December 15, 1983 to March 20, 2019


With deepest sorrow we announce that our most beloved son, brother, family member and friend, Russell Wheeler Simms, aged 35, passed away suddenly of complications from Adrenal Hyperplasia at the Health Sciences Centre on March 20th, 2019. Predeceased by grandparents Thomas Wheeler and Elizabeth Simms. Leaving to mourn mother Cindy Tedstone and Stepfather Neil Tedstone, Father David Simms and his spouse Colette Samson, sister Cara Tedstone, grandmother Dorothy Wheeler, Grandfather Reginald Simms, many aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. His sister Cara summed up his shining personality with a few words:

Russell was an impossible character to describe. If you knew him really well, you were lucky. He taught you how to find euphoria at the bottom of a new-flavour bag of Mike and Ikes. He taught you to be gentle and loving to creatures. He taught you to take impeccable care of your things, because he understood that we don’t need much, or many, to make us happy, and that good things should always last. He taught you how to actually relax, and showed you what it’s like to really, truly appreciate a sunny day and a good song. Russell taught you to make your own happiness – he knew life wasn’t about sitting around, waiting for it to come to you. He showed you what it felt like to be loved, hard. If you knew Russell, you always took his easy breezy attitude, affable charm, and ridiculous, quirky humour with you when you said, “later, man”. Then, his way of thinking about life probably slipped from you a little, until it all made sense when you saw him again.

If you knew the Russell I knew, he uplifted your life in some way. If you were lucky enough to be let in by him, too, you should also know that the time you spent with him was more precious to him than anything else you could have given. His gift to us in return for our company was 35 years of light in the darkness. We may have lost our Russell light, but we know if he could, he’d tell us to go out and find light somewhere, again, or bring light to someone else’s life by making a donation to a charity of one’s choice in Russell’s memory.

An invitation to a celebration of Russell’s life is extended to all his family, friends and anyone who would like to join us. Please feel free to come to our family home on Sunday, March 24th from 2-5 pm. We are located at 3 Motion View Close (off Motion Drive), Torbay, NL.



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Love you buddy. Thinking of you tonight.

We were blessed to have known Russell as a cousin, even if we only met infrequently.
I spoke to Russell a couple of years ago after not seeing him for over a decade. He immediately came over, put his arm around me like we were old friends and asked me how I was doing. What a warm and likeable fellow! Russel was simply a pleasure to be around and a wonderful man.

I was so sorry to hear the sad news about Russell. A,though I did not have the opportunity to meet him my late husband Peter often spoke about him .
His outgoing personality and cheerful left a lasting impression on Peter.
My sincere condolences to all of you.
Rosemary Lester

So sad to hear about Russell this week. We worked together, such a nice , happy , considerate person. Always had a big heart and a bright smile.

Dear David and family. I offer you my deepest sympathies on the passing of your son, Russell. The thoughts expressed by those who knew him tell of a wonderful young man.

Leo Boychuk

Dear David,

So sorry to hear of your son Russell’s passing.
Please know our prayers are with you and your family during this tragic time.

“The beauty of a life well-lived never dies, it continues to embrace and inspire us.
May you find comfort in your loving memories. “


Looking through my son Paul’s photos of his lifelong friendship with Russell gave me a glimpse into the Meaning and Purpose of their relationship. They were a Gift to each other in so many ways. Right from that unforgetable moment when Russell and Paul met on the first day of nursery school, you could almost see the bonding happening. I witnessed a little blond-haired boy so confidently walk up and stand across the table where Paul had chosen to play alone. They just stared for the longest time, as if recognizing something in the other no one else could see. When I later called the teacher to see how Paul was doing, she said “He’s found a friend, Russell.”. From that day on, they were inseperable. Cindy and I even had to consult each other on choices of schools. For me, their lifelong care, support and friendship are a lovely testament to how seemingly opposite natures, when fully appreciated, so naturally meet the individuals’ need for wholeness.

There truly are no words to express the depth of my appreciation for Russell’s presence in our lives as Paul’s chosen brother.

My deepest condolences to the entire Simm’s family and everyone who had the luxury of knowing Russell. Russell’s joie de vivre was unique and amazingly beautiful. We were blessed to have had a person of his caliber in our lives.

Cindy, Carla, Neil and the Simms and wheeler families.
I am so sorry for your loss. Just hearing about Russell’s passing tonight so shocked and saddened by his loss. May you keep his laughter and beautiful smile in your hearts as you move through the next weeks. My deepest condolences to you all.

Dear Cindy, Cara, Neil, and family,

There are no words to express how deeply saddened I am by the sudden passing of Russell and how much I feel for what you all must be going through. I loved Russell as if he were my brother and I am thankful for all the time I got to spend with him. He was hilarious and crazy (in the best way) and wonderfully weird and out of control (again, in the best way) and kind and generous and totally unique. He was the best. I will cherish all of my memories of him. My most sincere condolences to you all at this time and I am so sorry I was unable to travel back to attend the gathering at your home.

To Cindy, Neil, Cara, and family – There are very few who I would be able to call a ‘life long friend’, but I’ve been fortunate to always be able to put Russell at the top of that list.

From our early days at St. Bon’s to beating the streets around Ottawa Street, Circular Road, and Primrose Place together as we grew up, to our high school days at Brother Rice and Gonzaga.

And then to later years, crossing paths with Russ not as frequently as I would have liked, but always seeing him a few times a year to go to a concert or have a drink at Paul’s. I was thankful to exchange a few messages with him as recently as last week, laughing about old times, old teachers, and old friends.

No matter how long I went without seeing Russell, I always loved knowing he was somewhere out there, making people smile and making sure everyone was having a great time. Seeing the notes and photos over the past few days has brought me happiness during a sad week – seeing how many people Russell connected with over the years, I’ve quickly realized I wasn’t the only one lucky enough to have Russell have a big impact on my life. It’s hard to find the words to remember as unique a spirit as Russell, but some of these memories here and elsewhere have made a wonderful effort at doing so.

Unfortunately I’m presently out of the country with my family, so please accept my sincere regrets for not to be able to attend the celebration of Russell’s life today. But I’d like to thank you, his family, for raising such a wonderful person and for sharing him with us all these years. And I look forward to celebrating Russell’s life together with his many friends for the rest of our days – he will forever be in our memories, laughing and smiling as we remember so well.

To Russell’s Family
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Russell’s passing. It was my privilege and pleasure to teach Russell in Kindergarten and in Grade Two at St. Bon’s. Even as a little boy his light shone . Russell’s happy, caring personality and his sense of humour brightened my day. It was always a joy to meet Russell and have a chat. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to you at this difficult time. Just know that we are here for you and please do not hesitate to reach out.

Wycliffe, Michelle, Amy and Jesi Wheeler

If we hear “Like a Hurricane” or “Harvest Moon”
-we will know that is ‘Rusty’

If we hear “My Boy” or “Heart of Gold”
-we will know that is Russ

If we hear “Comes a Time” or “Love and War”
-we will know that is Russell

Russell was a very special person to many people.

He is forever with those people in their hearts, souls and memories.

Long may you run Rusty, Russ, Russell…
Love and Condolences to all his family & friends.

To David & Collette,
I didn’t know Russel personally, but it sounds like he was a very remarkable young man that postively impacted all whom he met, and thus, he has left you with many beautiful memories to cherish forever. My heart breaks for you as losing a son or daughter has to be one of the most painful experiences of life, and one that no parent should have to endure. Both of you are in my thoughts, and I send sincere condolences to all of Russell’s family. Hugs to you both, Cindy

To Russell’s family,

We were shocked and very saddened to hear of his passing. Russell spent a lot time at out house when our boys were younger and he was always a joy to have around. We can’t add much to Cara’s beautiful tribute, except to say that it was always a pleasure to run into Russell with his happy smile and pleasant words. We are going to miss him.

Russell’s family and friends,
I didn’t know Russell however, he was a friend of my son, Justin . My heart is breaking for you all. No parent should ever have to bury your child, it’s just not the normal course in life. I know oh too well.
Your Russell has an infectious smile and from reading about your son I can see why Jus and Russell were friends. They had similar personalities.
Cherish the beautiful memories of Russell and be gentle with yourselves. We all grieve differently and your Russell is always with you.
I know our sons are lighting up the heavens.
God Bless,
Yvonne ( a grieving mom)

David and Collette, so sorry to hear of the loss of your son. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time…….Jane and Dale

To Dave, Collette, Cara, Rose, her brother and sisters:
There are no words. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Russell was a gift from God. As a student of mine in St. Bon’s, I remember a smiling, funny young person who would be game to try any manner of music making – and that golden hair! And that wonderful laugh of his! Later, I had the pleasure of seeing Russ on many occasions through aunt Rose, my best friend. Still, the smile, still the golden hair, and still that hearty laugh!
Here’s a short story of the impact of this fine young man: Over 30 years as a music and drama teacher, of course I have had many, many students pass through my classroom. I remember the year before St. Bon’s closed (Roman Catholic School system) we had a huge dinner theatre that told the story of the history of the school. Russell and I went to the Arts and Culture Centre together, as his character in the show was a soldier, and of course he needed a war uniform.
I can close my eyes now and see a 14 year old Russ, in his army uniform and that metal helmet,(a little large for his head!),blasting out his solo, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”. God has another angel for sure.

Cindy and family
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences to you all

My deepest condolences to Russel’s family . I remember him with great affection when he was a teen and preteen who spent a great deal of time with my son, Matthew. I remember him as kind, polite , fun loving , and always with a smile on his face ……even when he and my son were gleefully testing parental limits . So sorry for your loss .

Saddened to hear of Russell’s passing. I remember him from Gonzaga. He was always a pleasure to be around. I will always remember that smile. It didn’t matter what kind of day you were having once you chatted with Russell he brightened the rest of the day. Rest in peace Russell. You will be missed.

Thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. I met Russell in jr high, we then realized we lived just around the corner from each other. Although it’s been many years since I have seen him I’ll never forget how his big heart matched his big smile.
May he Rest In Peace

David. ,Colette and Family sorry for your lose sincerely Richard and Ellen

Cindy and family , so sorry to hear of Russell’s passing , may you find comfort in your beautiful memories , and may the support of family and friends embrace and guide you in the difficult days ahead , my deepest condolences .. ❤️

Cindy and family, sending my deepest sympathy to you and your family .Cara what a beautiful heartfelt tribute to your brother Russell.Thinking of you all in the upcoming days❤️

I was so saddened by hearing the news of Russell’s passing. My heart goes out to his whole family. He was such a sweet person and we had the privilege of seeing him again just a couple of years ago when he came to Hermitage. I never thought that would be the last time. Heaven has truly gained an angel. Our prayers to you all.

Thinking of all of you in the time of such great loss. Russell brought more joy, happiness and laughter to the world in his short life than some people who live to be a hundred.That is his legacy!
No matter what was going on in his life or yours, he always left you with a smile on your face.
Hard to believe he’s gone and I will truly miss him.

Cindy, Dorothy and families; David and family

Our hearts go out to you. We cannot even begin to imagine the pain you must be experiencing. Thinking of you and sending our thoughts and prayers. Hoping it will help you to know that others sense and share your loss.

To the Simms family,
How much have I looked at Russell’s happy face here! I taught Russell at St.Bon’s and saw him as a student at Rice. He was such a funny and caring fellow. Sometimes you didn’t know if he was serious or not, but when you met him he brightened your day. We always shared a story and a laugh, a laugh that I can still hear!
I met him a few times over the past year, as recently as January. We had a lovely chat and reminisced and then carried on.
Russell was a true soul and well loved by all!
I’ll miss him! God bless!

David and Collette. So sorry to hear of Russell ‘s passing, Our condolences and we are thinking of you at this very hard time.
Bridget and John

My condolences to the family
Rest In Peace Buddy

Dearest Cara,
My sincere, heartfelt Condolences to You and Your Family at this difficult time of sorrow.
My prayers are with You and Your Loved ones at this unimaginable time of loss…..
All of us here, at the school, are thinking of you with love.
Uniting in a gentle embrace, Bozena

Russell was a great friend, I’ve known him since grade 3 in st.bon’s. He was kind and he was there for me…I couldn’t ask for a better friend then Russell…rip my friend you will be missed…god taken another angel

Cindy and family, Sincere condolences ..
Pat Walsh

I attended St. Bon’s and Brother Rice with Russell back in the 1990s. My wife, Jessica, attended CONA with him a number of years ago as well. We ran into him several weeks ago and had a nice conversation. He was always pleasant and friendly. We were both very saddened to learn of Russell’s passing. He will be missed by all who knew him. Our deepest condolences to all of his family and friends.

Hearing that Russell passed feels impossible, he was the kindest most gentle, yet hilarious guy. I’ll forever remember your smile and laughter! Xox

Jenny (Temple) Vandewerfhorst

I am deeply saddened to learn of Russell’s sudden passing. While he was a few years younger than me, we attended Brother Rice High School during the same time. He was respected by the entire school community as he was so friendly, fun and respectful. It is a huge loss for those who knew him. I offer my sincerest sympathies to his entire family and friends.

David and Colette,
We are so sorry to hear of Russell’s passing.
Thinking of you at this difficult time. No words
really to help the pain. Alton and Lorna

So very sorry about your loss. We had the supreme pleasure of meeting Russell at Julie and Ryan’s wedding We also had several chances to interact after that. His lbeautiful smile and gentle ways were lovely. I love to cook and we talked about maybe cooking together sometime. Our grandson Evan loved him and you could see that Russell always made him feel special. Sending love to all of you. There are really no words.

Cindy and family,
So sorry to hear of Russell’s passing. Thinking of you at this difficult time .

Cindy and Family,
So sorry to hear of Russelll’s passing. Losing someone we love is one of the most difficult things we have to face in life. May your many good memories together and the love and family and friends help you through the days and weeks to come..
My prayers are with you all.


Cindy, Neil and Cars
I am so sorry to hear the heart breaking news of Russell’s passing. I am keeping you in my prayers at this difficult time and sending love to you all.

Dear Cindy, David, Neil, Cara, and the rest of Russell’s family,
My brothers John, Michael, David, myself, and above all Andrew, had the immense privilege of welcoming Russell into our lives and calling him a dear friend. We watched movies, made movies, listened to music, made music, spun jokes, and shared countless laughs. He was for us, and will remain in our living memories, a beacon of kindness, warmth, humor, generosity, and boundless creativity. Cara’s beautiful words truly capture Russell’s unique spirit, the gift and blessing his presence was to all of us lucky enough to know him.
We cannot imagine what you may be going through at the present time, but please know that we acutely feel the pain and sorrow of Russell’s passing. If we may, we would like to join you in wishing him Godspeed, and a Joyous passage to the Infinite.

Cara and family,
I am very saddened to hear of the sudden passing of your brother Russell. My sincerest condolences for you and your family at this hard time.

I do not know this young man..but I am so touched by his sister’s description of him . My sincere condolences to his family and friends and sorry that I did not have the absolute blessing to have known him. Sincere condolences for your / our loss!
Regards Trish Dodd

Cindy, Wheeler, Simms and Telford Families,
Words are inadequate to express our condolences on the loss of your lovely Russell. Cindy, our time at Coughlan College brings back many cherished memories. Sending you love and strength as you grieve you loss. Cara, you surely captured the essence of your brother’s beautiful life. Especially for those who were less fortunate to have known Russell. Hugs Geri (Butland) Doherty & Ron Power

Dear Cindy and all of Russell’s family:
I am so shocked to hear of the loss of Russell. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish you are all feeling at this time and I can only say that I am thinking of you all and hoping that your memories of Russell’s shining light (as described so eloquently by his sister) will guide you all towards healing… in time.

To Cindy, Aunt Dorothy, and the remainder of Russell’s family.

It is with great sadness that we send to you all my deepest condolences. So sorry to hear of Russell’s passing. Its been many years since I’ve seen him, but will always remember that smile of his, that would light up any room. May you all find strength in each other, as you go through the days and weeks ahead. Praying for you all during this sad time.

With Sympathy,
Darlene King
Steven, Sherrilee and Jennilee Wheeler. Kitchener Ontario.

Oh Russell, you were the sweetest, cutest little kid. I can picture you and Billy now. I am very sad for your family and friends. You were a ray of light in their lives. Rest well, run free, and rock on Russell.

David and family. It is with the deepest heartfelt sympathy that we send our condolences and love in this trying time. Our thoughts are with you.

Terry and Lina

I’m in shock. I use to work with Russell at the port doing security. We had many many conversations. He was a treat and pleasure to work with

I’m shocked and saddened to hear of your son’s passing. Life is can change it a heartbeat. Please know you and your family are in my prayers. Gladys Perry

Cindy and family. So sorry for your loss. Russell was a beautiful man who love life. His beautiful smile was contagious. Russell was a good friend of our son michael and visit our home many times growing up. We were heartbroken to hear this news. May your memories keep you strong at this difficult time. Joan and Jerry, Michael and Matthew Broderick

So sad to hear the news of Russell’s passing. I spent two years with him at CONA, we shared so many laughs together, sometimes at our instructors expenses. He always put a smile on my face everymorning, we drifted away over the years but will always consider him a true friend and he will be missed.

So saddened to hear of Russell’s passing . He was a wonderful young man. Always upbeat and positive. ,

I remember Russell as a very happy young student during his time at Brother Rice. I can close my eyes now and see that blonde hair topping a delightful face with that perpetual smile.of his. I am sure I speak for all fellow Rice teachers in saying that we are all so much. poorer for this profound loss. Condolences to the family and his countless friends…..

I met Russell on my first day of school in grade 8 at St. Bon’s. I was a new student and Russell and I hit it off right away. He was most definitely one of a kind. His laugh was mighty and contagious. He was a good, kind person with a heart of gold. He will be missed but never forgotten. My condolences to his family. Rest In Peace my friend.

I knew Russell well in Jr. High, he was a wonderful guy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time, Russell will be remembered fondly by so many people.