Former LMS principal cherished his grandchildren

WAKEFIELD — Douglas Arthur Russell, 75, of Plymouth, formerly of Wakefield and Lynnfield, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Aug. 29, 2023.

Born July 6, 1948 in Lynn. Doug was the eldest son of the late Jean (Dearborn) and Arthur Russell. He was raised in Lynnfield and graduated from Lynnfield High School. He would return to the Lynnfield school system as a teacher after graduating from Salem State College and earning a master’s of education from Boston University. He served as an educator in Lynnfield for his entire 35-year career, starting as a teacher in the Huckleberry Hill School in 1970 and ultimately retiring as the principal of Lynnfield Middle School in 2005. He loved teaching and positively impacted the lives of countless students over his career.   

Doug is survived by his loving family. He was happily married to his loving wife Mary (McFarland) Russell for over 51 years. His son Jonathan Russell of Pacific Grove, California, daughter-in-law Blake (Phillips) Russell, grandson Quin (14) and granddaughter Liv (10) survive him. He also leaves behind his daughter Jaime (Russell) Balsis of Mattapoisett, his son-in-law Brian Balsis, grandson Samuel (18), and granddaughters Callan (16) and Abigail (14). His son Andrew Russell of San Luis Obispo, California, daughter-in-law Bianca (Kissel) Russell, and granddaughters Isla (8) and Delaney (3) also survive Doug. He is also survived by his sister Ellen (Russell) Dolan of Tewksbury and brother-in-law Thomas Dolan. He is predeceased by his late brother Robert Ivan Russell. 

“Uncle Doug” was loved dearly by his 13 brothers and sisters-in-law and his 22 nieces and nephews. He treasured his many friendships from his colleagues in Lynnfield to his neighbors on Paon Boulevard to his newest friends at the Pine Hills. 

Doug was deeply passionate about education and especially those issues that improved the opportunities of young people. He was quick with a joke, empathetic, humble, dedicated and had a huge smile. He was always the first to offer help and had an artistic side that only those close to him knew well. 

Most important to Doug was his family. He worked tirelessly to make sure his kids enjoyed every opportunity and he never missed any milestone, race, performance or game. He especially loved spending time with his seven grandchildren. Affectionately known as Buppy, his Sammy, Callan, Abby, Quin, Livy, Isla and Laney meant the world to him and he would brag about them to anyone who would listen.   

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the numerous nurses, caregivers and specialists who treated Doug with such love, dignity and tenderness over his final months. 

Visitation was held on Monday, Sept. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., North Reading. Funeral services were held at Croswell Funeral Home on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. with Interment to follow in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in Doug’s honor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Save the Children or another worthy charity of your choice. To sign the guestbook, visit