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Russel S. Sharp

Russel S. Sharp ’51, 90, passed away on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. He was the father of Edwin S. Sharp.

Russel Spencer Sharp was born 31 May 1933 in Lancaster, PA. He was the eldest child and had a younger sister, Mary-Ann. His father was a pharmacist and his mother was a nurse at the local hospital in town. Sadly though, his father passed away when he was just a young boy. Due to the outbreak of WWII, his mother was unable to afford taking care of him and his sister, so he was sent to Milton Hershey School (At that time, it was an orphanage for boys) in Hershey, PA. He was a good student and specialized in dairy production. Looking through his yearbook, Russ was a member of the dance club as well as played intermural baseball, basketball and wrestling.

Russ joined the United States Air Force in 1954 and served on active duty for 8 years as an aircraft mechanic and crew chief. He was initially assigned to Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota before being sent to Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. He actually was one of the first military members assigned to Abilene before it was even named Dyess and had to drive to Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas to get his flying hours in on his aircraft a B-26. His final assignment on active duty was at Andrews AFB in Washington DC (Maryland) where he was the crew chief on Air Force Two (VP Johnsons Plane). He would later join the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970’s and go on to serve in Texas and Minnesota for another 14 years of service, retiring in the grade of E-7 Master Sergeant.

After being discharged from active duty, he and his first wife moved back to her hometown in Abilene, Texas where Russ worked as an automotive mechanic for four years. It was also during this period that they adopted their son Edwin Spencer Sharp. Russ got on with Braniff International in September 1966 at Love Field in Dallas, Texas and later at D/FW Airport. He would go on to work for Braniff for the next 16 years as an aircraft mechanic until Braniff sadly went out of business. A few months later he would be hired by Northwest (Orient) Airlines and move to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he spent the next 6 years before transferring to Memphis, Tennessee for the final 5 years before he retired. However, he would be rehired by Northwest Airlines for a brief period where he acted as Technical Advisor on the DC-10 Overall Program.

After retirement, Russ moved to Orange Beach, Alabama and bought a condo, but anyone that knew him, knew a maintenance free life was something he couldn’t live with. So after a few years “down on the beach” he purchased a home in Foley, Alabama in the Glen Lakes Golf Course Community. It is here where he would spend the rest of his life. Russ was active in the community and was a member of the local Elks Club, American Legion, Eagles Club, Police Benevolence Society, Air Force Sergeants Association, AARP and his local church where he served as a Deacon.

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