Floral 30
Official Obituary of

C. Russell de Burlo Jr

September 1, 1924 ~ February 24, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old

C. Russell de Burlo Jr Obituary

C. Russell deBurlo, Jr., was born on September 1, 1924, in Philadelphia, PA. Born to Comegys Russell deBurlo, Sr. and Margaret Whitehurst deBurlo, Russell spent most of his formative years with his family in Havertown, PA. He attended the Harvertown High School completing his high school education in good standing and as a high school athlete.

Following graduation, Russell attended Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. At age 18, he joined the naval forces and was assigned to a PT squadron stationed in the Pacific during WWII.

He received an honorable discharge in June of 1946 and returned to Swarthmore College where he majored in engineering. He was an Allstar soccer player at Swarthmore, also playing baseball for the college. There he met his wife, Edith Power Thatcher of 60 years. Edith and Russell lived in the Swarthmore area while Russell attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, earning an MBA. After receiving his degree, Russell went to work at Tufts University in Medford, MA. And then continued on to earn his PhD in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

He worked at Tufts University from 1949-1989 with a short two year change of work acting as Vice President of Business Administration at the Education Testing Service outside of Princeton, NJ. He returned to Tufts where he succeeded to the position of Treasurer and Vice President of Business Administration. He taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Economics Department. As an administrator, he was responsible for tall physical plant planning design and management for the four Tufts campuses.

His children, Jane, Charles Russell, and John Todd were born in Boston and raised on the campus of Tufts attending both public school in Somerville and private schools in the area. Charles Russell eventually graduated from Tufts. Also, Edith finished her undergraduate studies at Tufts and later earned her MFA in Early Child Development at the Tufts Eliot Person Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Always a person looking ahead, Russell formulated an investment company while at Tufts and later after his retirement from the University became the Founder, Chief Financial Officer, and Chairman of the Board of The de Burlo Group. He continued to be involved and to steer The de Burlo Group over the years to finally act as a consultant for the company until his death in February of 2024.

In addition to his lengthy career, Russell pursued many professional and personal interests. He was a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society and the CFA Institute. He was Chairperson, Commissioner of Trust Funds for the City of Medford, and Treasurer of the International Association for Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases. He was also a board member of two commercial banks.

As a long time educator and a member of the Society of Friends, Russell contributed to schools, colleges, and educational endeavors of higher education for Friends and other concerns alike.

He was a trustee of Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund and was a trustee of Friends Meeting in Cambridge. In addition to serving as trustee and treasurer of Cambridge Friends School, he was treasurer for the Belmont hill School, the Buckingham, Brown and Nichols School, the Moses Brown School, and the Lincoln School. He served was President of the Massachusetts Association of Non-Profit Schools and Colleges and chaired the Finance Committee of the New England regional college and university accrediting organization. For many years, Russell was a member of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Cancer Centers Committee, as well as the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Always looking to beautify the world around him, he served as Assistant Treasurer of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Also, as a summer resident in South Hero, Vermont, Russell was active in community preservation efforts, contributing to the Lake Champlain Land Trust, the South Hero Land Trust and the Vermont Land Trust.

Russell was a man of many interests and abilities that he fulfilled by partnering with institutions of education, business, health, the preservation of beauty, and individuals’ welfare. We are astonished at these accomplishments and the breadth of his support. He made a difference using his outstanding talents and gifts that he brought the world he touched. 

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