Massachusetts’ operating patriarch Russ Mawdsley, Sr. died Feb. 19 from natural causes at the Holyoke Medical Center in his hometown of Holyoke which is also the home base of his Russell-Hall, Inc. coin machine route.
He was among the few surviving veterans of World War II having enlisted in the Marine Corps as soon as he became of age. Russ was 97 years of age when he left this earth and caught up with his late wife Gert, a familiar face at many coin-op events during their marriage.
Russ was also one of the last presidents of the Music Operators of America (MOA) when he served as president of that national group around the time it answered the changing business climate by adding the word Amusement in front to become AMOA. He was also father to another AMOA president, Russell J. Mawdsley, who has been running their jukebox, games and vending business since Pop’s retirement in 1996.
During his lifetime, Russ Sr. was an avid member of the Kiwanis Club, served on Holyoke’s town planning board as well as its director of the town’s Park West Bank for many years. On the social side, he and Gert enjoyed family time at their country place in South Chatham, MA and their condo in Naples, FL.
Besides Russ Jr. and wife Helene, Russ Sr. is survived by a sister Thelma, daughter Paula and her husband Robert, four grandchildren and a half-dozen or so great grandchildren. Funeral services will take place Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6:00pm at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home in Holyoke following two hours visitation. May he rest in God’s Peace.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holyoke Visiting Nurse Assn., 575 Beech St., Holyoke, MA 01040.