Joseph Russell Page III was born on December 30, 1951 in Oakland, California. He passed away peacefully in his home on Monday, October 1, 2018. Russell was the youngest of three siblings, born to Joseph and Maggie Page. Not only was he the youngest, but he was also the only boy and prince of the home. His childhood years were spent in San Francisco, California. As a high school student he attended Mountain View Academy, where he participated in school activities, playing the piano and trumpet, joining in various sports and making lifelong friends.
Russell was raised in a strong Seventh-day Adventist home, spending lots of time participating in church activities. Both of his parents served in the church throughout his life, paving the way for a strong unshakable love for his Jesus. It was the foundation for the man and father he would become.
Russell, being the son of an educator, had an innate love for learning. He began reading at the tender age of four, and soaked in all the knowledge from the books his older sisters brought home from school, Biology, Science and his favorites History and Spanish. He developed a love for fast cars, photography, trains, and traveling. Russell attended Pacific Union College and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelors of Arts with a minor in History. During this time, he spent a year in Bolivia, teaching English, becoming fluent in Spanish and playing basketball for a Bolivian basketball team. He loved telling stories of his time in Bolivia, remembering and laughing about his experiences assimilating to a new culture. His love for traveling again, led him to study abroad in Valencia, Spain during his senior year. After graduation, his first teaching assignment was at Modesto Adventist Academy in Modesto, CA. In July of 1977 he accepted a position to Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio. He earned his Masters of Arts degree from Ohio State University in 1981.
His oldest daughter Jordanna Elizabeth was born in the fall of 1981 and was the pride and joy of his life. He loved sharing the story about teaching three-year-old Jordanna about the importance of brushing one’s teeth. While eating at a restaurant one day, to Jordanna’s surprise, the waitress happened to have no front teeth. She enthusiastically asked the waitress, “what happened? Did you forget to brush your teeth? Teeth fall out?”. He was so embarrassed but he KNEW his baby was listening and learning.
1981 was a busy year as he accepted a new position at Tacoma Adventist School in Tacoma, Washington serving as a teacher and then principal. He was exited for the opportunity to move west. He always talked about how much he loved the Pacific Northwest and all its beauty. His next teaching assignment was at Buena Vista Adventist school in Auburn, Washington. Russell taught in the Adventist school system for 17 years.
During the spring of 1985 the family was overjoyed to welcome a second baby girl, Jacqueline Nere. Jackie was an exuberant child who loved to talk. He said on their car rides to visit Grandma in California he would jokingly offer her $5 if she could go 5 miles, without talking, which to no one’s surprise she never did. When she would ask if she was talking too much, he would lovingly answer, “No baby, you have a beautiful, active mind”.
Russell took great joy and pride in his girls, often reminiscing of those sweet Sabbath mornings, walking through the church doors with his girls in their matching, frilly Sabbath dresses and shiny shoes.
In August of 1991, he again took a new teaching position at Decatur high school in Federal Way, Washington. He spent the remainder of his teaching career at Decatur and finally retiring in June of 2017. Russell taught for a total of 43 years. This however, did not last long. Ever the active man and discontented with true “retirement” he once again found himself in the classroom as a substitute teacher.
In 2003, Russell and Kathleen met. Their love was so strong, that a long engagement was not an option, they married in February 2004. Russell and Kathleen spent the next 15 years enjoying life together, loving their children, spoiling their grandchildren, and smiling and laughing all the way through. Russell and Kathleen enjoyed traveling together. In 2017 they traveled to Paris, France and made memories that will last a lifetime.
Russell was an accomplished musician, playing the piano, organ, trumpet, flugelhorn, acoustic guitar and bass guitar. He loved to wake his family up on Sabbath mornings, with the sound of soft piano hymns echoing throughout the house. Russell was a member of a chess club and two Corvette clubs. He enjoyed going on rides with his corvette buddies and spending whole afternoons enjoying the open road. He loved working on his train set, watching Seahawks and Mariners games, hiking up Mount Rainer, walking along Ruston Way and Dash Point, and reading countless books and global newspapers. He was a walking encyclopedia! Jordanna once gave him a mug that said,” I don’t need Google, my Daddy knows everything!” His family will greatly miss his plethora of knowledge.
Russell was a very contemplative man, enjoying the solitude and serenity of the mountains and oceans. He was a highly intelligent man, preferring the company of books to the entertainment of movies. He was also a very gentle man, a presence that demanded respect but a touch that wouldn't crush the petal of a rose. Russell faithfulness to his family, his church and his students will never be forgotten… he will always be missed. He will always hold a special place in the hearts of all those who have ever enjoyed the warmth of his smile, his gently teasing, his hardy laughter and genuine friendliness.
Russell was preceded in death by his father Joseph Page II, mother Maggie Page and sister Norma Greene. He leaves to mourn his widow, Kathleen Page, two daughters, Jordanna Morgan (Richard) and Jacqueline Langi (Ofa); his sister, Carolyn Page, la hijastras, Alena Alves, Kiersa Betts (Carlos) and hijastro Don Alves.
Grandchildren, Joseph Russell Page IV, Jordan Ford and Adam Morgan; Maiko, Akosita, Malakai and Josiah Russell Langi; Donnel, Akanesi, Yosheyah and To’a Alves and Moema Betts. Nephew, Damon Greene(Naomi) and nieces, Karlyn Harris and Toyia Greene and grand nieces and nephews Matteo, Lucas, Eleña Greene and Tylar, Taz and Noah Krull, and Jalen Greene.