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John B. 'Jack' Russell, 85, attorney, SSA director


John Bernard "Jack" Russell, a retired lawyer and deputy director with the Social Security Administration, died Thursday from complications of a brain tumor at St. Agnes HealthCare. The Catonsville resident was 85.

Raised in the Walbrook section of Baltimore, he attended St. Cecilia parochial school and received a diploma from Loyola High School in 1937. He graduated from Loyola College in 1941.

The next year, he received a commission in the Navy. He served aboard ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during World War II before receiving an honorable discharge in 1946.

In 1949, he received a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He worked for two years in the Maryland attorney general's office and was in private practice for a decade. He then worked for 19 years for the Social Security Administration, retiring in 1980 as a deputy director in the Division of Medicare Eligibility.

He was a member of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Agnes Church, U.S. 40 and St. Agnes Lane, Catonsville.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Mary Elizabeth Gerbig; a brother, Bernard Joseph Russell of Towson; three sons, Dr. John Stephen Russell of Levittown, N.Y., Paul Damian Russell of Eldersburg and Thomas More Russell of Washington; and eight grandchildren. A daughter, Mary Bernadette Kondner, died in 1999.

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