Russell Bruce Chambers: August 30, 1960 - February 27, 2020
Russell Bruce Chambers, age 59, passed away peacefully at his home in Acworth, Georgia on February 27, 2020 after a devastating struggle with cancer, which he endured with dignity and grace.
Russell was born in University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia on August 30, 1960 to Rev. George E. Chambers and Jeweldine Childs Chambers. Russell came home to the family of Muugh, Pop, Lowell, Wendell, and subsequently Amy. A redhead, Russell was a feisty child who held his own with two older brothers. Summers and holidays included time on the farm with his grandparents and extended family. Daily life in a Methodist preacher’s family meant church was a central element that included reassignment every 2-5 years to a new location. Russell lived with his family in Harlem, Trion, Augusta, Cleveland, and Hoschton, Georgia - holding special fondness for his time in Trion and Cleveland.
Russell attended White County High School, and played flute in the band. After reassignment, he attended and graduated from Jackson County High School a year early, while taking classes at Gainesville Junior College (now North Georgia College and State University). He then attended Young Harris College, followed by the University of Georgia, and finally Berry College where he received his bachelor’s degree. After graduation, Russell worked a short while as a surveyor, then took a position as a Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Atlanta. In 2000, he took a similar position with the City of Marietta where he worked for the next 19 years.
Russell married Ava Lindsey in 1982 and together they brought up four children – Becky, Sara, Luke, and Hanna. They renovated a house in an underappreciated neighborhood of Atlanta, then moved to a house in Acworth. Russell spent much of the next 32 years improving and updating the house, that grew and changed with his family. Russell stood with his children through difficult transitions, and they in turn held fast to their relationship with their father. He employed his industriousness to ensure his kids had a wonderful childhood - from birthday parties in the backyard, which included slip n’ slides and homemade ice cream, to imparting his knowledge and ingenuity. As his children grew into adulthood, they knew he was only a phone call away. He came to their rescue many times, changing tires, helping to fix cars, or renovate houses. He enjoyed a good project and shared his love of fixing things.
Russell was simultaneously gregarious and a homebody. He enjoyed the company of others, and throughout his life he made many friends. Russell regularly attended concerts and music festivals, where he often sported tie-dye. He had a particular fondness for jam-bands, but would not pass up tickets to a local show of any genre. On the 4th of July, he would regularly have a cookout and made his home a central meeting location for friends to join him at the yearly fireworks show. In later years, he enjoyed traveling to far-flung and exotic locations with his close friend and companion Janine Joseph.
Russell was a successful gardener and enjoyed cooking and sharing what he had grown. He was a self-avowed scavenger, a trait that he inherited from his father and shared with some other family members. He maintained a substantial stockpile of interesting items that he encountered – cast off by others, but in which he saw value.
Through extensive hospitalization, multiple surgeries, the loss of his ability to speak, and a negative prognosis, Russell maintained a positive attitude. He was appreciative of all who helped him, and he remained concerned for the comfort and convenience of those around him.
Russell was preceded in death by his father, Rev. George E. Chambers in 2011. He is survived by many beloved family members and friends, including his mother, Jeweldine Chambers; his four children: Becky (Jonny) Merritt, Sara (Mark) Hammad, Luke (Jackie) Chambers, Hanna Chambers; the mother of his children: Ava Morrow; and Janine Joseph. Russell took great delight in his grandchildren: Nate and Rosalie Merritt. He is further survived by his two brothers and his sister: Lowell Chambers (Melanie Sheets), Wendell (Jodie) Chambers, Amy (Jonathan) Dement; nieces and nephews: Wesley and Zachary Chambers, Ellen (Sam) Hurd, and Andrew Dement.
A memorial service for Russell Chambers will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 11:00 a.m. at Acworth Presbyterian Church (4561 Church St, Acworth, GA 30101), followed by a reception and visitation. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the AWARE Wildlife Center with a special note about how Russell loved opossums OR to the Young Harris 1979 Class Scholarship.
Donations for the AWARE Wildlife Center can be gifted online at www.awarewildlife.org.
Donations for Young Harris can be sent to the below address or online at yhc.edu/giving.
Young Harris College
Office of Advancement
PO Box 275
Young Harris, GA 30582
The body will be cremated, and Russell’s remains will be interred alongside his father at his mother’s childhood church, Woodlawn United Methodist Church in Elberton, GA - where his father was once the pastor and where his parents were married. Additionally, Elberton is home to much of his extended family.