My former classmate Russell Minkwitz died on September 15, 2015 at the age of 69.
I have great memories of Russ.
Russ and I attended Canton High School in Canton, Massachusetts. Russ was Co-Captain of the Canton High football team.
He married another classmate of mine, Carol Soule.
An excellent obituary of Russ is online at
The obituary gives the facts of his family, his activities, and his professional accomplishments, all of which are impressive. I would just like to say something briefly about Russ, the person I knew in high school, based on my memories of him.
Russ was in all my classes. He was handsome, a great athlete, and a very good student. He was a true scholar-athlete.
He was a truly nice person. He was soft spoken and modest. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was good natured in general and took kidding well.
We used to call him Rusty.
We were in math class together with the legendary teacher Martin J. Badoian. Russ really liked the class and Mr. Badoian. I believe math was his favorite subject. Mr. Badoian, in turn, liked Russ. When he found out that Russ had a girlfriend, he used to kid him about it. Russ, as usual, took the teasing modestly and well.
I was reunited with Russ briefly at our 45th reunion in 2009. He was one of the people I was most glad to see. He looked great then. No doubt no one knew then of his impending illness.
Often at such events, one can be apprehensive about seeing people again after all those years. With Russ, I felt completely at ease right off the bat. I was so glad to see him. He was so friendly, so well spoken. He made it plain that he was glad to see me.
At that time, Russ told me a little about his student days at Penn State, where he played football under Coach Joe Paterno. He said he really regretted quitting football because of an injury. I appreciated Russ’s candor. I could relate to what he said because there are things I regret not having done when I was young, when I had the opportunity.
I sent a letter of condolence to Russ’s wife Carol a few weeks after his death, having learned about it from a former classmate.
Carol Minkwitz responded with a Christmas card to me in which she wrote, “Russ bore his suffering with nobility and never complained.”
I thought to myself, that was Russ.
— Roger W. Smith
January 4, 2016