Word has reached us of the passing of longtime British Columbia aftermarket professional Bill Russell at the age of 82.
Born in Wells, B.C., May 18th, 1940, he grew up in small mining towns throughout British Columbia — New Denver, Cumberland, Duncan, Britannia Beach, Hedley, Williams Lake and Kamloops — before settling in Brentwood Bay to raise his family.
Bill Russell spent a 50-plus year career in the British Columbia automotive aftermarket, starting as a trainee out of high school at Auto Electric Service (Pacific) in 1958, working his way up to branch manager in Kamloops and Victoria, then warehouse manager in Vancouver at the company’s new warehouse on Wayburne Drive in Burnaby before joining R.E. Spear as Victoria, B.C., branch manager in 1975, working successfully under Consolidated Parts Distributors and Uni-Select leadership there.
In 2002, Bill Russell moved to become one of the original ERI Group Service Team members before retiring in 2010.
“Through changes in names and leadership, he built a reputation as a hard worker and business professional who helped build the business of customers and careers of those who worked for and with him,” says his son Todd Russell, who continues the aftermarket legacy, working as District Sales Manager for DRiV in the B.C. Interior.
“Bill’s legacy can be recalled by the many that remember him as a gentleman who took time to work with those entering the industry; he formed many long-lasting friendships from his 50 years in the industry,” says son Todd.
Bill was predeceased by his mother Margaret Winfield (nee Campbell), father William Russell, brother Hugh Russell, stepfather Harold Winfield, in-laws Ruth & Dennis Hall and brother-in-law Keith Adams.
Bill is survived by the love of his life for 62 years, Carole; his children Todd (Geri), Denise (Eddie) and Christopher, his sister Colleen (Chickie), grandchildren Ken (Caroline), Will, Alex (Kassidy), Mikayla (Matt), Robbie, Cole and Riley, great-grandchildren Davis and Madison, as well as many nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.
Bill was a lifelong member of the Central Saanich Lions club and developed many long-lasting friendships; he was proud of his service, holding many positions within the club including President.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Central Saanich Lions Club.
At Bill’s request the family is having a small private interment this spring.