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Welcome to the memorial page for

Russell A. Joyner

September 7, 1960 ~ January 1, 2015 (age 54)
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Message from Don Greene
January 3, 2015 10:22 AM

A wonderful person who I had the privilege to meet and work with during the development of Assembly Row.  He leaves a wonderful legacy and will be missed.  Quite a guy.
My thoughts and prayer go out to his family.

Don Greene
Skaneateles, NY
Message from Mark Anthony Adams
January 3, 2015 5:28 PM

R.I.P "BIG Russ". I remember Russell from the days in the Bronx; where he would have football practice at Cardinal Hayes H.S., and myself track practice at Harry S. Truman H.S. right across the street. Russell is the main reason why I inquired about possibly attending Boston College. And it was at Boston College where we got reacquainted; he a Sophomore and me a Freshman. Russell had an extremely engaging and warm personality - everyone loved "BIG Russ". He'll be missed by many! My sincerest heart felt condolences goes out to his family and many friends!
One Love,
Mark Anthony Adams
Houston, Texas
Message from Susan Baldasarre Polomski
January 3, 2015 6:15 PM

So very sorry for your loss.  I have such wonderful and fond memories of my time working with Russ at the Hahn Company.  He was truly a gentleman, loyal friend and the best co-worker one could ask for. My sincere condolences, and heartfelt prayers to Brenda, Martina and the entire family.
Message from Nakita Scott Finn
January 4, 2015 9:33 PM

RUSS YOU WAS ALWAYS VERY KIND AND NICE TO ME AND MY CHILDREN ANYWHERE U&Mom moved here comes me and u was always inviting.U made my mom very happy and I thank you for that.SIP GENTLE GIANT YOU WILL BE MISSED

                                                                                                   NAKITA &FAMILY
Message from Stephanie Mascoll Adams
January 5, 2015 12:03 AM

As a member of the Ahana Boston College family, I am saddened to hear of Russ's passing and God calling him home. I am also gladdened to be one of his Alumni close knit BC family. He was always great, fun and steady and had a wonderful smile to match. He was good to everyone.

My heart goes out to his beautiful wife Brenda and daughter Martina, may God be with you at this time. It goes to show it is not how long you live but how you live. Russ sure showed us that reminder.

Russ R.I.P with the angels, "may your work speak for you!

Message from Carrie Niemy
January 5, 2015 12:20 PM

What a blessing Russ was on the Somerville community.  We are grieving with you and hope you know the difference he made as such a warm and committed person.  Our hearts and prayers go out to you.

With much love,
Carrie Niemy, Director East Somerville Main Streets
Message from Steven Shawver
January 5, 2015 12:39 PM

I'd meet Russ about 15 years ago.  I had just got my current job with The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.  He was on the Board of Directors, then he became the Chairman of the Board a short time later.  I use to go to his office every month for him to sign letters for our monthly billing.  It was those visits that him and I became friends.  This news of his passing is a shock to all of us here at The Hollywood Chamber who knew him.  May God be with his family.  R.I.P. Russ, you will surely be missed.
Message from Tom & Arlene Dominko
January 5, 2015 1:42 PM

to celebrating a life well lived which russ certainly did. to the day when tears of sorrow turn to tears of joy of loving memories of russ.
Message from Kelly King Lewis
January 6, 2015 11:29 AM

A great loss...
Always a gentleman, always true to his word; Russell was a blessing in the lives of so many people.
We pray for consolation and peace to his wife, Brenda, and daughter, Martina and all of his extended family.
He will be missed.
Message from Joanie (Giblin) McCabe
January 6, 2015 2:48 PM

My heart is broken for the huge void that Russ has left in so many lives. He was truly larger than life and a genuinely kind man. I got to know Russ years ago through my family's involvement with BC football, and just had the pleasure and privilege of talking with Big Russ at the Pinstripe Bowl in December. My heart and prayers are with his family and many friends. We are all better for having been touched by the warmth that was Russ. God bless you all and let the many memories of him and tremendous love for him comfort you at this difficult time.
Message from Mike Kelleher
January 7, 2015 12:35 PM

RIP Russ, you will be missed and never forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers for Brenda, Martina and the Joyner Family as well as the thousands of friends.
Message from Dorothy Mabry and Nancy Hamp
January 7, 2015 10:23 PM

To Brenda and Family, Nancy and I are so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you with his love at this time and know that God has called another one of his beloved one home. Our prayers are with you and the family.

Dorothy Mabry  
Nancy Hamp
Hampton, GA10
Message from Xavier and Flor Kimbrough
January 9, 2015 10:27 AM

Brenda & Martina,
    There are no words that we can say that will ease the pain of your loss.  We want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  Russell will be missed dearly. A void in many lives that he has touched that can only be healed with time.  As I carry the business card in my wallet that he gave me at your home in Vegas before you guys left for Boston, I think to myself "this just does not seem possible".  We thank God for allowing Russell to come in our lives.  We want you to know that if there is anything, no matter how big or small it may be, that we can do for you, please let us know.  Love you guys, and god bless.
Message from Joy Julks
January 9, 2015 7:24 PM

Brenda, Martina and family,
So shocked and sad. Russell accomplished so much in his life... his work, legacy and memory will live on. May God keep you strong.
Message from Lindsay Smythe
January 12, 2015 4:51 PM

We had only just begun to work together to bring our youth and Assembly Row together to create an even better Somerville. In a new working relationship, Russ quickly demonstrated a passion for his work and for serving his community that is hard to find. He was clearly a special man, well-loved by all, and will be missed. His beloved work team, family and friends have our deepest sympathies. - The kids and staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County serving Somerville
Message from Don Briggs
January 27, 2015 10:56 AM

When I received the news on Thursday that Russ was gone I couldn’t believe it.  How could this great light that embraced life so fully be put out?  I was in disbelief.  I had the good fortune to visit with both of you, Dave, Mark, and the rest of your family on Saturday.  We spent the afternoon sharing Russ stories.  Tales of the positive impact he had on our lives.  I left feeling uplifted and realized in that moment that his light had not been put out.  It lived in his memory and our memory of him.  There is no better description of Russ than “I felt uplifted after spending an afternoon talking about Russ”.  Your family embraces his memory and celebrates his memory.

I was determined to celebrate Russ with the Federal Realty family on Monday.  So we met as a team for lunch from Fuji – his favorite spot at Assembly.  One dish was Russ Rice.  In case you don’t know, Russ Rice is simply Fuji fried rice but instead of adding shrimp he preferred beef.  For anyone else on the planet that would be fried rice with beef.  But at Fuji – who named the dish – it was Russ Rice.  A total statement about Russ and the powerful impact he had on people.  He connected with them.

We spent the lunch sharing Russ stories and as prompted by Andi Simpson recounting Russisms – those quips that only he could provide that captured a moment or a motivation.  My favorite Russism is “Let’s get out in front of it and call it a parade”.  I love that for so many reasons.  It totally captures so much that is great about Russ.  There are no obstacles, no challenges; only opportunities.  In every piece of bad news there is something positive and we will find it.   I don’t know how we are going to solve the steps from A to Z but we will solve them.  And you believed him.  Because you believed him you had already won.  All that was left was the doing of it.  I knew it when I met him.  We looked each other in the eye.  We both knew we were for real without a word being passed.  That was Russ.  The best part of that Russism – Let’s get out in front of it and call it a parade- is that’s exactly how he lived his life.  Leading the parade.  Parades of his making.  Tackling problems.  Building teams and friendships.  He was good at it, loved it.  It is a true testament that his essence infiltrated all parts of him and all parts of his life.  Happiness is born out of realizing your true self in all parts of your life.  He realized it.
Message from Josie D
February 10, 2015 3:34 PM

I am sorry to read of Russ' passing.  When family is pulled away because of death, the feelings that follow can cut us deeply.  The Creator never meant for this to happen.  In fact, Jesus Christ was sent in order to put to right what had caused disaster upon the human family.  As such, Jesus promises that the hour is coming in which those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out. (Roman 5:12 and John 5:28 and 29)  Visit JW.org
Message from Eric Garcetti
February 22, 2015 1:02 AM

I just heard the tragic news about Russ' passing.  I loved getting to know Russ when I was a brand-new City Councilmember in Hollywood and we worked together for the opening of the Hollywood and Highland complex.  I went to that first Academy Awards in the theater that Russ helped build, which returned the Oscars across the street from where they were first born.

Russ was a consummate gentleman, a committed part of the Hollywood revival, and his legacy lives on this weekend as a billion eyes watch the Academy Awards.  

My deepest sympathies to Brenda and Martina from my family to yours,

Eric Garcetti
Mayor of Los Angeles
Message from Mario Mireles
March 24, 2015 1:12 PM

Joyner Family -
I was recently saddened to hear of Russell's passing in January.  I met Russell when we both worked in the shopping center business in Southern California, about 20 years ago.  We occasionally connected via e mail or LinkedIn and Russ and I were reacquainted in September 0f 2013 in Washington DC at an event we both attended.  We spoke about his move back to the east coast and how much he was enjoying it.

Russell was always quick with a smile and handshake and he was one of those people you meet that you always intend to stay in closer contact with.  I certainly wish I had.  He was an impressive man and I'm sure an impressive husband and father.  My heart goes out to you.
Message from The Owens Family
March 25, 2015 8:57 PM

Our deepest condolences to the entire Joyner family. We are shocked and so saddened by the news of his passing. Russell was a loving and wonderful person he touched everyone who ever met him. He was an extraordinary example of strength and determination. His laughter, kindness and presence will never be forgotten and he will forever be missed.

The Owens family
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