Carl Frederick Russell, 59, of Bedford passed away on Feb. 13, 2023. He was born on Oct. 16, 1964.
As a young child, Carl was a sought-after ring bearer, appearing in many weddings. He was often mistaken for child actor Rodney Allen Rippy.
A lifelong resident of Bedford, Carl attended the Job Lane Elementary School, the John Glenn Junior High School, and graduated from Bedford High School in 1982.
Through his teenage years, Carl played Bedford youth hockey, and was also on a club hockey team that played in an elite traveling league, which took him to tournaments as far away as Canada. He also played on the football team through all four years of high school.
After high school, Carl attended Chamberlain Junior College in Boston, majoring in the hospitality fields, while also working as a supply manager at what was then the Stouffer’s Bedford Glen Hotel on Middlesex Turnpike in Bedford.
In October 1987 just prior to his 23rd birthday, Carl suffered a spinal cord injury. At that time, medical science, and the prevailing prognosis gave Carl a remaining life expectancy of 8 to 11 years. But Carl was not discouraged or deterred. After a long and arduous rehabilitation, he turned tragedy into triumph, and went on to attend and graduate from Middlesex Community College with high honors, achieving degrees in Business and Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Administration. From there, Carl transferred to Bentley College in Waltham to pursue Bachelor’s degrees in these same fields, but needed to withdraw after two semesters due to health issues.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carl, in partnership with others, was an owner-operator of a successful landscaping company. Following those years, there were more health highs and lows, but through it all, Carl always remained true to his faith and optimism.
Most recently, Carl was intending to resume his educational accomplishments by attending UMass Boston, majoring in Psychology to become a therapist, counseling and supporting others with spinal cord injury.
Carl was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bedford.
Carl was predeceased by his father Harold Sr., mother Thelma, and brother Harold Jr., and is survived by brother Mark, nieces Darrell and Deborah, and Great nephew Izayah.
Everyone is invited to a Celebration of Life for Carl Russell to share love, memories and smiles instead of sadness. This one last after-party hosted by Carl takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Rd., Bedford.
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