CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Joseph Jay Russell of Canton, NY, age 62, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on Thursday, May 21, 2020.All arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Madrid. Joe was born to the late Sidney and Rita (Halladay) Russell on August 9, 1957 in Ogdensburg, NY.
A graduate of Madrid-Waddington High School in 1975, he continued his education, obtaining his associates degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Canton in 1977. Shortly after, Joe obtained his gunsmithing training at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado allowing him to further his passion and start his company, Hilltop Hunting & Fishing in 1980 from which he has been serving the community for 40 years. Joe was an avid hunter and fisherman excelling in competitive archery and shooting, who also enjoyed playing competitive softball, scuba diving and piloting his plane. Over the years Joe would also share in life saving ventures such as being a volunteer rescue diver and active blood donor. Joe was proud of the fact that he had donated over 6 gallons (50 units) of blood in his lifetime. Joe placed 7th in the 1995 NYS Toughman Contest and shares a place in the Madrid-Waddington High School Hall of Fame for soccer and baseball. Joe also was an accomplished author and speaker and had the honor to design and machine a prosthesis for a bow that was eventually called the “Bionic Arm” in 1998. Joe’s biggest passion was his son Joey who he tragically lost in 1999. Those close to Joe knew he had a special place for kids and was always trying to make them smile and teach them new skills. Joe was a gentleman with strong convictions who enjoyed helping young and old alike. Joe loved the land and nature and committed his life to helping others experience, respect and enjoy the outdoors. He will be missed by those who knew him best. Joe is survived by his loving wife Kelly and their beloved dog “Trixie”; his siblings Wanda Tyo of Madrid, NY and Ellen Gage of Chester, MT; niece Laura Tyo, nephews David Tyo, Michael Gage and Rusty Gage; great-nieces and great nephews and Erin O’Connell. He is predeceased by a son Joseph “Joey” James Russell.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Joe’s name to the American Heart Association. Services will be held with immediate family. Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.PhillipsMemorial.com