Cover photo for Russell James Grandstaff's Obituary
Russell James Grandstaff Profile Photo

Russell James Grandstaff

October 20, 1928 — December 20, 2014

Russell James Grandstaff

Russell James Grandstaff was born on October 20, 1928 in Wheeling, WV, son of Russell Grandstaff and Bertha Pond. His brothers and sisters include Herald, Mary, Ralph, Martha Lee and Erma. His education included a B.A. from Fairmont State College, Masters Degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Doctorate Degree from the University Of Michigan. His professional employment began with a professorship at Miami University Of Ohio and continued with teaching positions within the theater departments of Emporia State Teachers College, Colorado State University and Western Michigan University where he taught from 1965-1991. Russell directed over 50 plays during the course of his career, and favored the works of Shakespeare and Moliere. He wrote one play called "Relicts" based on the career of Lucy Stone, one of the most significant figures of the 19th century woman's rights movement. He also authored the text book "Acting and Directing" as well as a one act play called "Pithing Stuff" that recounts the career of a retiring professor. Retirement provided well earned time for Russell to enjoy endless rounds of golf, gourmet cooking, piecing together the extensive Grandstaff Family genealogy, assembling a "Kitchen Compendium" guide and the opportunity to write his memoirs. He also took interest in learning how to restore wood-shaft golf clubs. Russell is survived by his wife Anne, children Brian and Tracy; grand-children Kari, Maya and Zoe; loving Son-In-Law Daniel Gruber and Daughter-In-Law Ravinder Grandstaff. He was blessed to have worked with more than 600 student actors plus a similar number of student assistants and technicians. Many of them contributed heavily to his growth and development as a director and teacher. He was indebted to them for trusting him, for giving of themselves to his directions, suggestions and mentorship. He will always be remembered by his studens as "Dr. G". In lieu of flowers, contributions are gratefully accepted to Sue's Loving Care 2827 Courtlandt Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49004 Please note: In memory of Russell Grandstaff A memorial service for friends and family will be held at a later date. He answered to many names - Ruddy, Russell, Russ, Rusty, RJ, Doc, Dr. G, BFL, Ooooompah and he loved them all. However you remember him, know that you played a wonderful role in the production of his life - and his life was enriched with you in it. As he took that final bow - I imagine hearing him say, "Long live Theatre!"
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