Russell G Philbrook

Died: Wed., May 30, 2018


1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Sun., Jun. 10, 2018
Location: Chester Railway Station

Celebration of Life

1:00 PM Sun., Jun. 10, 2018
Location: Chester Railway Station

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Russell G. Philbrook (Rudy), 75 of Blandford, MA passed away surrounded by his family and close friends on May 30, 2018 of cancer.

Raised in Chester, MA, Russ, graduated Westfield High School, and went on to earn his BA in marketing at U-Mass, while serving his country honorably in the U. S. Army National Guard/Reserve Service for eight years.

While at U-Mass he became a member and Vice President of Alpha Sigma Phi where close, life long friendships developed and the brotherhood they shared was an integral part of his life.

After college and the Army, he took advantage of every opportunity to travel around the country fishing and visiting friends.

Russ moved to Marblehead, MA and started his own business: “Russ’s Custom Cabinets” in Swamscott, MA, making a name for himself as a quality craftsman. His work could be seen in many homes and was also in two magazines, and a movie.

Russ retired in 2007 and returned to his roots in Western MA, moving to Blandford and settling down with Judy Woodger, who recently became his wife.

Russ always enjoyed hockey and often reminisced about going to the Bruin’s games in the old days of Bobby Ore, when roughness was encouraged on the rink, and many were in need of dental work.

Russell was an avid catch and release fly fisherman. He made almost forty annual trips to Montana where he was able to meet and fish with his old buddies, and make new friends along the way. All he held dear.

Russ took his last, but not final trip to Montana in 2016.

He was proud to share his passion for fishing with his nephew Michael, and niece Kelly who have fond memories of many fishing trips. He wasted no time taking his great niece Jaidyn fishing at the age of three (I think he waited that long).

Russell was predeceased by his mother, Anne McMennamin in 2007 of Westfield, and his brother who has been sadly missed, Whitney Philbrook in 2016 also of Westfield.

Russell left behind his wife Judith (Emmershy) Philbrook of Blandford, MA, his step-son David Olszewski and s.o. Jennifer Shaw, of Windsor Locks, CT

Whitney’s wife, Joan Philbrook of Westfield, MA. and their children, who had a special place in Russ’ heart: Deborah Snape and husband Michael of Huntington, Michael Philbrook and wife Teresa of Westhampton, MA, Kelly Hill and husband Keith of Becket, MA.

Judy’s family loved Russ and enjoyed his many stories and jokes. He leaves

Gary Emmershy and wife Andrea of Bondsville, MA, Gail Couchon and husband Mark of Montgomery, MA, Sandra Flagg and husband Jon of Westfield, MA, Karan Miller and husband David also of Montgomery, MA, Todd Emmershy and wife Christine of Vero Beach, FL. Jaidyn Hawkins of Westfield, MA, and many more nieces and nephews.

Russell was also predeceased by William and Madeline Emmershy in 2010 of Westfield, MA

and Gwenn Parker who has been woefully missed since 2005 of Southwick, MA.

A Celebration of Russell’s Life will take place Sunday June 10, 2018 from 1:00pm- 4:00 pm at the Chester Railway Station, 10 Prospect Street, Chester, MA.

No flowers please, but if you wish, Westfield River Watershed Association is accepting contributions at the following address: P.O. Box 1764, Westfield, MA 01085.

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Condolence Booklet

Gary Heller
   Posted Mon June 04, 2018
I met Russ on our first day at UMass in 1964. We lived across the hall from each other, and formed an immediate friendship. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a kind heart. I, as so many others, will miss him enormously.

Phil Hughes
   Posted Tue June 05, 2018
Russ and I were pledges together at Alpha Sig. We had a apartment together in Marblehead MA for years. We fished in ME for trout. We did lobstering outside Marblehead Harbor. We partied like crazy at bars, watched Boston Bruins. Best of all, Russ drove out to Seattle with me when i got transferred with job...we drove about straight thru to Livingston MT where we fished the Yellowstone River for the 1st time in '77. After that, Russ went every year at least once until the cancer. we could not go last Sept but were going to go this Spring. He got too sick. Russ was my best friend. 53 years !! I will miss you Rudy, Flipper

Robert Sheehan
   Posted Tue June 05, 2018
Russ was a friendly and trustworthy soul who always saw the bright side. He had a way about him that made others feel at ease and want to share in his enthusiasm for life. May he rest in peace.

Jay Stewart
   Posted Wed June 06, 2018
Russ was an avid fisherman, family man, much loved by his wife Judy and his many friends, tolerant and respectful of all irrespective of politics, religion, sexual persuasion, ethnicity or circumstances. He and I shared a love of American history, and during my visits to his home I always looked forward to learning about his latest discoveries, the most surprising being his knowledge about Russia’s nuclear launch controls and weaknesses, a subject I knew quite a bit about. He lived life to the fullest. He died grateful for the life he had. Rest In Peace my friend. See you soon.

Bill Cannata
   Posted Thu June 07, 2018
Russ and I were roommates at the Alpha Sig house at UMass, as well as roommates at an apartment off campus and in Marblehead, Mass after college. I knew him very well and we shared many fun times. I last saw him in 2016 at little reunion with some other Marblehead pals, after many years of losing contact him; he was the same old Russ...telling jokes and stories and laughing a lot. He was one of my most favorite individuals in the world. I regret not seeing more of him over the years, and will miss him very much.
See ya on the other side Rudy,

Gary Jones
   Posted Fri July 13, 2018
I found out today (7/13) that Russell has passed. I met Russell at Planet Fitness in Westfield. Always riding the stationary bike and always reading an interesting book! He and I shared a love of the West, fishing for Russell and hiking and camping for myself. In recent years we encouraged each other to visit the West whenever we possibly could. Russell was a thoroughly decent man, I can't offer higher praise. I have nothing but fond memories of my conversations with him. I have no doubt his was a life well lived. My thoughts are with Russell, his family and friends at this most difficult time.

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