In Memorium


February 7, 1955 – January 12, 1999

Michael J. Russell was born in San Francisco, California on February 7, 1955, to parents Bob and Lenore Russell. The family moved to Carbondale, Illinois, where Michael graduated from Carbondale High School. He was an outstanding athlete and captain of his football team as well as a talented actor who starred in his high school plays.

Michael married Wendy Freitag and moved to Hawaii from 1976 to 1978. It was in Hawaii where Michael was “tagged” with the nickname “Madness” because of his reputation to surf the “Pipeline” at times when no one else would dare to do so on the north shore of Oahu.

The Russell family moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1979 and attended Bethany College. At that time, Michael’s spiritual search led him to the Orthodox Christian faith, in which he was ordained a Deacon in 1987. The parishioners of his church loved to see him serve and hear his beautiful voice during the Divine services in the San Lorenzo Valley. Michael is the father of daughter Megan and two sons, Justin and Jared.

For 18 years, Michael owned and administrated his successful business, Michael J. Russell Hardwood Floors, while teaching the trade to his eldest son Justin. “Deacon” Michael, as he was affectionately known, was the loving husband and friend of his wife of 22 years. This powerful man with his famous “bear hugs” and ready laughter will always be remembered by all those who knew him, whether at church, work, or play.

Having passed from this life at 43 years of age, vitality, joy of life, and with the strength of a bear, leaves behind a legacy of friendship, love, and faith in God. Along with his wife and treasured children and parents, Michael leaves three brothers, Bob, John Patrick and Matthew, six godchildren, and a huge family which extends beyond his relatives. Everyone knows that if you met Michael, you liked him. If you knew Michael, you loved him. May his memory be eternal!

[source: St. Nektarios Brotherhood]
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May 25, 1950 – October 23, 1998

Born on May 25, 1950 in Shrevport Louisiana, Terry Clark Somerville was the eldest son of Willis Jay and Margie Somerville. His brother Scott was born four years later followed by his sister Marsha. The Somerville family moved to southern California in 1963 when Terry was 13 years old.

The energetic and talented Terry quickly adapted to California social life. He made many friends and excelled in baseball, football, and track at Placencia High School. Terry was elected Student Body President his senior year.

During his high school years Terry began his spiritual search through contact with Youth For Christ International and became a student leader in Young Life Club his senior year. After graduating from high school in 1968, Terry attended Redlands College and spent his summers as a counselor at Redwood Camp, Mount Hermon. His second summer on Redwood Camp staff, Terry met co-counselor and future wife Judi Hopsen of Gilroy, California. They were married on May 15, 1971 at Mount Hermon.

In 1973, terry and Judi moved to Mount Hermon to join the Conference Center staff. The following year they helped found a very active Young Life Club on the SLV High School campus. In 1975, Terry became one of the primary leaders of the Christian Community Church, Felton, CA, which later became Sts. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, Ben Lomond, CA. In 1987, Terry Somerville was ordained to the priesthood of the Orthodox Church.

Fr. Terry served tirelessly as the Youth Pastor as well as highly efficient administrator. Each year, Fr. Terry took a large group of high – schoolers to Tiajuana, Mexico, where they would build small houses, from the ground up, for pverty stricken Mexican families and assist in numerous tasks for Project Mexico Orphanage. He took the youth on visits to homes for the aged, sponsored monthly Senior Dinners, and numerous other activities to put love into action with his youth. He constantly filled the gap for busy parents trying to raise their teenagers in the Valley. Fr. Terry was a Board member for six years with Valley Churches United and served as its Ministers Contact. He was activly involved with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Fr. Terry also served as a guest lecturer and high-risk education aide at SLV High School and coached SLV Senior / Major Baseball for three years.

Fr. Terry wrote many published articles as well as co-authoring a goundbreaking book titled Missing From Action. The popular book resulted in Fr. Terry traveling across America holding seminars for men.

Everyone who knows and loves Fr. Terry can warmly remember him being as one who was equally comfortable with a hammer in his hand as he was with the Bible. Only God knows the countless acts of love he gave towards his church and community without neglecting his wife, Judi, and five children, Shannon Hardenbrook (23), Rachael Hagler (20), Gabriel (17), Benjamin (15), and Elizabeth (12), and grandson Nektarios (5 mo.).

Amidst family and friends singing sacred hymns and prayers, Fr. Terry passed from this life shortly after partaking of Holy Comunion.

[source: St. Nektarios Brotherhood]