US Navy veteran who enjoyed woodworking and traveling

WAKEFIELD — Russell Lacroix of Wakefield passed away Tuesday, November 21 at the age of 78. His only son and his girlfriend of over two decades were by his side when he passed.

Russell was born and raised in Lawrence, the son of Bernadette (Mignault) and Philip Lacroix. He was a graduate of Central Catholic High School and later, Northern Essex Community College, majoring in business. Russell became a Navy CB, serving multiple tours in the Vietnam War, honorably discharged after receiving several medals and commendations. Following his tours, he was stationed in Antarctica, earning the Antarctic Service Medal. 

On completion of his service, he returned to work for the family business, Phil Lacroix & Sons, a highly regarded carpentry/contracting business, with his older brother, Philip and his nephews. He would later work for several large construction firms, including Tutor Perini, where he worked on the Hydroelectric Plant in Lawrence and was able to even give his young son a tour of the amazing facility to help with an elementary school project.

Russell was an exceptional craftsman and woodworker. He was happiest when he was building, fixing or improving anything that involved carpentry and using his hands. He loved to travel, taking his young family to many destinations, going to Florida and Hawaii with his partner and later developed a love of cruising. He was a history fanatic and would watch or read anything he could about it.

Russell was predeceased by his mother, father and brothers: Alfred Lacroix, Philip Lacroix, Jr. and Philip Ronald Lacroix. He will be missed by his girlfriend and partner of 23 years, Donna Heinstrom; Donna’s daughter, April Gorham; and her grandson, Andrew. He is survived by his only son, Rodney and wife, Kerri of Salem, NH and by his grandchildren Payton Lacroix and Cameron Lacroix of Salem, NH, who will forever remember his generosity, spirit and love for his family. 

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald-Finnegan Funeral Home, 322 Main St., Stoneham on Wednesday, November 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. Funeral Services will be private.