Mr. Russell E. Minkwitz, Jr.

  • Born: June 5, 1946
  • Died: September 15, 2015
  • Location: Walpole, Massachusetts

James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common Street
Walpole, MA 02081

Tel. (508) 668-1960

Tribute & Message From The Family

Russ died at home on September 15, 2015 after battling ALS for several years. He was 69 years old. Born in Boston, he was the son of Ruth Mahler Minkwitz and Russell E. Minkwitz Sr. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Carol Soule Minkwitz, their three children: Russ and his wife Christen and their 3 boys Nathan, Matthew and Noah; Laura and her daughter Kayla; and Eric, as well as five siblings Steve, Rick, Judy, Barb and Deb and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Russ grew up in Canton, MA and attended Canton High School where he was Co-Captain of the Canton Bulldog Football team, played Ice Hockey and was inducted into the Canton Hall of Fame as a member of the 1964 High School Track Team.

In 1967 he married his high school sweet heart while attending Pennsylvania State University (PSU) earning an Electrical Engineering Degree. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Russ played Football for PSU under legendary coaches Rip Engle and later Joe Paterno.

He and Carol and their soon to be born son moved to Erie, PA after college where he worked for many years at General Electric Aerospace Division. While at GE he was invited to attend GE's prestigious Crotonville Management Training Center. He also was a member of the Lunar Roving Vehicle engineering team, one of the earlier unmanned vehicles that explored the moon. In Erie, he attended Berhend College to attain a Master's Degree.

Russ and Carol with help from many friends and family built their first home along the shores of Lake Erie. During that time, Russ represented GE and worked in several European and Asian countries. This began his love of travel and photography.

Longing to return to Massachusetts and family, they moved to Marshfield and he worked with a Braintree manufacturing firm, then later with a company that made oxygen concentrators and finally with Aerovox, where he was promoted to several executive level positions through the mid-1980s to 1992. In 1992, he bought a struggling manufacturing company that made reels for the wire and cable industries. Driven by his entrepreneurial skills and sheer determination, Russ revitalized Millbrook Reel, Inc., and the company had a number of good years until he became ill with ALS.

While living in Marshfield, he and his brother-in-law founded ACT, Concerned Taxpayers Association. He also worked on PLUG, an organization dedicated to putting lines underground, in Walpole.

Russ loved teaching his kids about the outdoors and athletics, including the finer points of football, basketball, and skiing. When his grandkids arrived, he especially loved teaching them how to ski, swim, hike and perform scientific experiments. They frequented their grandparent's home and worked on projects with wood and electronics and learned how to make his specialty Dutch Pancakes. Outings with his kids and grandkids included weekends away in New Hampshire skiing or floating down the Saco River or taking the train to Boston to learn about museums and historical attractions. Russ also loved exploring the North End and the waterfront to find the best Italian meal or strongest espresso. Carol and Russ also enjoyed week long summer vacations to Big Sur, Italy, Greece, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Egypt.

He and Carol have lived in Walpole for 34 years where they have been members of the United Church of Christ and active in local politics.

His family wants to publically thank the ALS organizations that have raised money to help ALS patients receive needed medical equipment and supplies. Without their support, the struggle with ALS would have been even more challenging. We also want to thank our wonderful home care team of home health aides, nurses and other professionals. The wisdom of Partners VNA and the MGH ALS Clinic was especially important in helping Russ to fight this disease at home. Their caring touch was very comforting to Russ and his family.

A celebration of his life will be held at United Church of Christ, 30 Common Street, Walpole, MA on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers please make any charitable donation to Compassionate Care ALS, PO Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574,, 508-444-6775 or The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, 315 Norwood Park South, 1st Floor, Norwood, MA 02062. Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.