About Russ Read
To honor Russ and to never forget the years of support and friendship he provided to MBSEF, the Mt. Bachelor Open has been renamed to the Russ Read Memorial.
A life well-lived . . . Those who knew Russ Read, knew someone with a passion for excellence, a tender caring for others, a fierce love of family, and an amazing and contagious sense of humor. He’s left us sooner than we would have liked, but all 78 years of his life were lived with an energy and drive that never waned, even in his last, long battle against cancer.
Russ was born Weldin Russell Read, Jr. on February 21, 1927 in Glendale, California to parents Weldin R. Read, Sr. and Vida (Webster) Read. As you might imagine, he always had a mischievous streak, as his sister Suzy can confirm. During World War II, at the age of 17, he dropped out of high school to join the Navy and serve our country in the Pacific. After the war, he finished high school and then went on to graduate from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Business. Russ and college sweetheart JoAnn Foisy were married in her hometown of Prosser, Washington on June 23, 1951, and spent 54 wonderful, full years together.
Russ’ professional career was spent at Unocal Corporation (Union Oil at the time), where he worked his way up from bookkeeper to Chief Financial Officer of their International Division. He traveled extensively for work in South America, the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and Europe – and always had interesting stories to tell. Russ took early retirement in 1986, at which time he and JoAnn moved to Bend, Oregon to enjoy their well-earned retirement.
Retirement in Russ’ case did not mean resting in an easy chair. He worked tirelessly for years as Director of Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation, promoting ski racing programs for young people at Mt. Bachelor. He also worked as an independent financial consultant to several Central Oregon businesses, sometimes working a full time schedule. He loaned his financial expertise and energy to the First Presbyterian Church building program by arranging financing for the new sanctuary.
If he worked hard, he played even harder. He always found time to do the things he loved, and to share those things with friends and family. He loved sailing, fly fishing for steelhead, road and mountain biking, downhill and nordic skiing, playing bridge, home video production, traveling… the list could go on. He cherished time with his three grandsons, and for years he invited them to Bend in the summer for a jam-packed week of “Camp Grandpa”, biking, rafting and hiking until they tired before he did. He was devoted to serving in his church.
He always had fun, and he tackled every endeavor with determination, integrity, energy and humor. Russ, you will be sorely missed. You have touched all our lives.