Two weeks after Daniel Russell passed away at the age of 54, the community prepares to honor the life of the City of Glen Cove's historian.
Russell, 54, – who residents say was perhaps Glen Cove's most knowledgeable figure on city history – began his career at the in 1974 as a page. Russell eventually worked his way up to the curator position of history collection.
Russell was a self-proclaimed "mineralogy, paleontology, writing and Glen Cove history fanatic, according to his senior statement printed in the Glen Cove High School Class of '75 yearbook.
Library employee Carol Stern said Russell was an irreplaceable figure in Glen Cove.
"He gave us tremendous information on the history of Glen Cove and had a photographic memory; he could remember anything," she said. "He was a brilliant an talented man, and was very passionate about Glen Cove's environmental history, how it was founded, and how our city's come to be. He'd spend countless days and long nights studying microfilms of old news pieces, and he really developed the collection we have now."
Much of Russell's monumental work can be found at the Glen Cove Library's website.
Library director Antonia Petrash noted Russell's passion about preserving city history for future generations: "He did so much in that area," she said. "He really was devoted and single-minded to his work."
Mayor Ralph Suozzi said he is deeply saddened by the news of Russell's passing.
"Dan was a great guy, a very serious student of the city," Suozzi said. "He was a great resource for the city and really cared about what he did. It was just a tragic thing to see him pass."
Street-naming was one project of Russell's that stood out to Suozzi.
"Dan started the project. One young woman was so grateful for the dedication of the street's name to her uncle who'd served in WWII," Suozzi said. "I miss Dan already."
Patch contributor Mitch Schlimer is currently organizing a memorial service for Russell, which will be held Monday, July 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the at 26 Franklin Ave. in Glen Cove.