Cover photo for Richard "Rick" Russell's Obituary
Richard "Rick" Russell Profile Photo
1957 Richard "Rick" 2023

Richard "Rick" Russell

October 15, 1957 — May 30, 2023



Richard “Rick” Russell, age 65, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of May 30, 2023, at Fort Sanders Regional Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mack E. Russell and Joyce (Payne) Russell.  Rick is survived by Greg (Kelly) Russell, Jon Russell, Shari (Randy) Coulter, many nephews and nieces, and his best friend, Jonathan Newberry.


Rick’s light will be missed by all who knew him. He was a person who always made his presence known. He almost demanded to be the center of attention at times. Although he could be particular about the people he allowed into his life, his kindness and generosity were endless to those he considered his friends.


Rick received his Bachelor’s Degree from MTSU in Urban Planning, 1980. Then received a Masters Degree from University of Tennessee in School of Planning, 1981-1982. He went on to then become the Vice President of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. and eventually became a Principal of his own firm Brown Pearman Russell, LLC. Professional memberships include American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association (APA), Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and many others.


He was proud of his professional accomplishments, and he was not afraid to boast anytime the opportunity arose. He was proud of his work with various small, disadvantaged communities throughout the region. He was also proud of the various projects he did with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Mostly, though, he loved to talk about his part in planning for the 1982 World’s Fair and the Bonnaroo Music Festival.


In addition to his professional accomplishments, he was fond of telling his friends of his countless experiences and adventures. Sometimes the stories seemed a little improbable, but they were always true and entertaining. All who knew him will miss hearing of his various escapades and exploits. Rick’s passing has left a void in our hearts and souls that cannot be filled.


Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Tennessee Inc., East TN Office, 5801 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 in honor of his father, Mack Russell.


Family and friends will meet for a Celebration of Life from 4:00 until 6:00 PM, Monday June 5, 2023 at Smithview Pavilion, 601 Smithview Drive, Maryville TN 37803. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000,


Fare thee well, my friend. 

I’ll see you at the promised end,

where the wind is laughter.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Rick" Russell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, June 5, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1454

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree