Leslie John Russell

October 16, 2018


Everything is better with onions. That was the lifelong and firmly held belief of Leslie John Russell — Les to all who knew him. He passed peacefully away on October 16, 2018 at the Miller Centre. His mighty heart and incredible spirit is carried on by his wife, three children, five grandchildren, sister, nieces and nephews and an extended family of friends and relations.

In addition to the above gastronomic advice, his life’s advice was as follows – anything worth doing is worth doing right, always think positively, see the beauty that is everywhere, read books – a lot of them, treat people with integrity and respect, make a difference, leave things better than you found them, make time for a nap every day and don’t throw away anything that could be used down the line.

He was someone who made an instant and lasting impression. He was always a gentleman – in appearance, character and action. He was a wonderful storyteller who enjoyed hearing other’s stories as much as he enjoyed telling his own. He was wise and always had advice for family and friends who sought his counsel. He was relentlessly optimistic – even in the face of his own mortality. He loved music and the way it made him feel. He was often found tapping his toes, whistling or conducting the virtual orchestra he saw while listening to his favorite music. He saw beauty in the everyday – a flower, a sunset, the dew on a spider’s web. He loved to laugh and had an easy smile that lit up his face.

Les was husband to his beloved Verna (Williams) for 49 years, father of Nancy (Brent Pittman), Lisa (Darcy Sutton), Ian (Carolyn Guy), grandfather to Joshua, Gabriel, Rachel, Charlotte and Alex, and sister to Susan. He was uncle to seven nieces and nephews and in particular was a father figure to his nephew Steve.

He was predeceased by his parents, Manetta and Gary; sister, Manetta; brother, Eric and granddaughter, Madelyne.

Cremation has taken place. Visitation at Carnell’s Funeral Home (329 Freshwater Road, St. Johns) Friday, October 19, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM and 7:00 – 9:00 PM and Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Memorial Service to be held at Carnell’s Memorial Chapel on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Boy Scouts of Newfoundland and Labrador – an organization of which he was a lifelong supporter and contributor.



2-4 p.m. on October 19, 2018

7-9 p.m. on October 19, 2018

11-1:30 p.m. on October 20, 2018

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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2:00pm, Saturday October 20th

The Carnell Memorial Chapel
329 Freshwater Road
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So sorry to hear that Les has passed away. We knew him both personally and in Newman’s case, professionally. And as everybody else knew him, we only knew him as a gentleman and a kind hearted man, with a quality of sincere honesty. We offer our sincere condolences to all the family. Newman and Jean George

Sorry to hear about Les passing.
I didn’t hear about it until today. I have fond memories of both of you & memories of Les through business, I remember him as true gentleman in all matters.
Wayne Fitzpatrick

I began doing business with Les and his father Gary in 1971 when I incorporated E. K. Jerrett & Associates Ltd. Both very fine gentlemen that could be trusted at their word. Hence we formed a long relationship.
My sincere condolences to his family.
Eric Jerrett

My sincere condolences to the Russell Family, I met Les when he was on the Board of Directors and then President of the Kiwanis Music Festival. He was indeed a true gentleman. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dear Susan and family, I am writting from Ontario as a coworker. I have never had the pleasure of meeting your brother, but I felt the love and passion in your voice when you spoke of your brother. God Bless you all, keep his memory alive.

To the Russell Family, so sorry to hear of Les’s passing. I had the pleasure of knowing Les through business for quite a number of years. Les was very well respected and always a true gentleman. Even though I have never met any of the Russell family, I felt as if I have known everyone as Les would talk frequently about his family during our meetings,. Always a big smile when he talked about his grandchildren He loved them so.. My thoughts and Prayers are with you.

Our thoughts are with Verna and family and sister Susan.
Les was a true gentleman. Greg and Mary Beth Twining

Verna and family, We are so sorry to hear of Les’s passing. As a Guild Member he will be sadly missed at our regular functions. We are presently out of the province until next week but our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Doug and Wendy

Verna, Nancy, Lisa, & Ian. We are so sorry to hear of Les’s passing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Steve and family,
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your uncle. Although I never knew him, I can tell be speaking to you he was a positive influence in your life and the lives of many and will be fondly remembered.
Rosemary and I are thinking about you in your time of need. If there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to ask.

Lisa, Verna and Nancy, and family, I am so sorry to hear of Les’s passing. He was an amazing man and I feel honoured to have known him. I have so many happy memories of Les and know he will be deeply missed by so many people. Sending love and hugs to you all. May all of your happy memories carry you through your sadness.