Russell R. Bessette age 81 of Mattapoisett, MA and recently of Shelbyville, IN, passed away Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Born on July 21, 1940, in Acushnet, MA, he was the son of Henry Bessette and Mary Jane (Poulin) Bessette.
Russell graduated from St. Anthony High School, New Bedford, MA in 1958 where he served as the president of his class for all 4 years. He continued to honor that position throughout his life organizing class reunions. After high school he attended the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island graduating in 1962. He continued his education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and earned his PhD. In Analytical Chemistry in 1967. In 1964, while still in graduate school, Russell married his high school sweet-heart, Claire Belanger.
Russell worked at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth as a professor of Chemistry serving as the Department Chairperson for 4 years. He retired in 2002 as a chancellor professor after 34 years of service and remained an active member of the American Chemical Society.
When not working, Russ enjoyed most of all spending time with Claire, his family, and friends. He liked camping, traveling, going to concerts and attending any activities or sports events that his grandchildren where involved in. He was a sports fan with a particular affinity to baseball and was an avid Red Sox fan. A seasoned tennis player, Russ spent every Friday evening for more than 25 years playing doubles tennis with his 3 close friends. Russ was active in fundraising efforts for several organizations and with Claire, looked forward to monthly meetings of the Gourmet Dinners Club with some of their closest friends.
Russell is survived by his loving wife, Claire; two daughters, Danielle Galley (Paul) and Leanne Nadeau (Joseph Loccisano); eight grandchildren, Rose (Galley) Hall (Tyler), Laura (Galley) Jennewein (Blake), Nicholas Nadeau, Abigail Nadeau, Christian Nadeau, Andrew Nadeau, David Nadeau and Isabelle Loccisano; great grandson, Calvin Hall; cousin, Robert Bessette (Donna); and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Mary Jane; his 4 brothers, Donald, Normand, Fernand and Joseph Bessette; and sister, Pauline (Bessette) Ramos.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at Erlewein Mortuary and Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A celebration of his life will follow the visitation starting at 2:00 pm.
A final visitation, celebration and burial will be held in Russell’s beloved town of Mattapoisett, MA. on Friday and Saturday, September 10, and 11, 2021. Visitation and celebration of life; Friday, September 10, from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm; with a service at 7:00 pm at Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home, 50 County Road, Mattapoisett, MA. Everyone is welcome to attend the graveside burial service on Saturday, September 11, at 11:00 am at St. Anthony’s Cemetery, North Street, Mattapoisett, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made by mail to the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, 114 16th Street, #2011, Charleston, MA 02129 and to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, 577 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104. Donation envelopes will also be available at the mortuary. Friends may share a memory or condolence at www.erleweinmortuary.com.