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Brainard, Russell Edward

Russell Edward Brainard was born in Orange County on May 13, 1985, and died March 10, 2007, at the age of 21. The beloved youngest child of a large family, his loved ones were at his side when he passed away at his family’s home in Walnut Creek.

With a hint of pugnacity, a sly wit and a heart of gold, Russell went through life creating unforgettable and often hilarious memories for those whose lives he touched. Born in Orange County, he moved to Walnut Creek at age 3, attending Walnut Heights Elementary School and Walnut Creek Intermediate School before graduating from Las Lomas High School.

Russell spent part of his summers at his family’s second residence in Serene Lakes.

For the past three years, Russell bravely fought brain cancer. In that time, he traveled to Vietnam, the Bahamas and Mexico with his family; backpacked along the Sierra Crest; went scuba diving in the underwater caverns of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico; and dived in a shark cage off San Francisco’s Farallones Islands.

For his hard work and determination to complete his degree, he received a certificate of achievement toward a bachelor of science degree in Recreation and Parks Management from California State University, Chico.

He taught his family and friends unforgettable lessons about love, courage and making the most of every moment. In the words of his favorite Christmas story, “The Grinch,” our hearts grew three sizes bigger during these years.

Russell is survived by his father, Jeff Brainard; parents, Susan and Robert Hollingshead; brothers Eron and Curtis; sisters Kelly, Anna and Max; loving and devoted girlfriend, Stefanie; and many other greatly treasured relatives and friends. He will be missed and remembered by all.

The family wishes, in particular, to thank doctors Sherman, Massullo and Chen, and the wonderful staff at the Hospice of Contra Costa County for their expertise and phenomenal personal support.

For those wishing to honor Russell’s memory with a contribution to other young people struggling to achieve their educational goals in the face of financial, health or language barriers, the family requests donations be made to a scholarship fund that has been created in his name in the Recreation and Parks Management Department at CSU, Chico.

Please make checks payable to University Foundation, CSU, Chico, and note that the gift is for the Russell Brainard Memorial Scholarship. The checks may be mailed to: CME Development, CSU Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0145.


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