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Dr. Russell G. "Russ" Mawby
  • Yorkville Community Church
    11523 East D Avenue
    Richland, MI 49083
  • Battle Creek Community Foundation-Mawby Fund
    32 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1
    Battle Creek, MI 49017

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“We were honored to have known Russ through his community foundation work and in his assistance in creating Youth Advisory Councils (YAC) throughout...Read More »
1 of 62 | Posted by: Sandra Dobbins - Marshall, MI

“Karen and Family:I remember you the most as I was judging demonstrations during State Show and you were a participant. I had been foods-nutrition...Read More »
2 of 62 | Posted by: Sharon Fritz - West Branch, MI

“With sincere condolences on behalf of Roberta Alexander who considered Dr. Mawby a treasured friend. ”
3 of 62 | Posted by: Roberta Alexander - MI

“I have the best memories of the years when my late husband, Mario, had the privilege to work under Russ' leadership while developing the Kellogg...Read More »
4 of 62 | Posted by: Rosita Chaves - NJ - Friend

“This week, the Yorkville Community Church is celebrating the life of the most giving, humble icon that I have ever met. His achievements on this...Read More »
5 of 62 | Posted by: Clarice Cook - Kalamazoo, MI

“I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Tillers International of Scotts, Michigan (especially Richard Roosenberg, former...Read More »
6 of 62 | Posted by: David McMorrow - KALAMAZOO, MI

“Russ was a hero, mentor, and model of Christ-centered servant leadership to me and many. May God's peace now be with Lou Ann and the whole family. ”
7 of 62 | Posted by: Bob Andringa - Scottsdale, AZ

“All our love and prayers to All Russ' family. He was sure a wonderful man. ”
8 of 62 | Posted by: Paul and Debbie (Willis) Guy - MI

“In my life time Dr. Russell Mawby was the best example of a responsible citizen, leader, scholar and visionary. He was a leader in building...Read More »
9 of 62 | Posted by: Grant and Alma Shrum - Huntsville, AL

“So saddened to learn of Russ Mawby's passing. Russ hired me in 1985 to serve as Director of WKKF for Latin America and the Caribbean. For fifteen...Read More »
10 of 62 | Posted by: Marcos Kisil - Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Dear Lou Ann, so sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Russ was a man of great character and role model to countless...Read More »
11 of 62 | Posted by: David Hirsch - Barrington Hills, IL

“Dear family,So sorry to hear of Mr. Mawby's passing. My father was a good friend of his, as a child I remember knowing both "Ruth and Russ" as the...Read More »
12 of 62 | Posted by: Laurie VanDeusen - Bellevue

“My dad, Russ Strong, worked with Dr Mawby at MSU in the mid60's and kept up with him for many years after. He often spoke of Russ as a paragon of...Read More »
13 of 62 | Posted by: Bill Strong - Davidson, NC

“During my high school years I worked on Dr. Mawby's property doing yard and farm work. He would be out there working with me, sharing his love and...Read More »
14 of 62 | Posted by: Steve Raseman - Barrington, IL

“Lou Ann and Family,I am praying for you at this time. I hope it helps heal the pain of your loss to know that that he positively impacted countless...Read More »
15 of 62 | Posted by: Daniel Busby - Chicago, IL

“My deepest sympathy to the family of Russ Mawby. He was a wise, compassionate, generous and kind man and a good listener. I always enjoyed visiting...Read More »
16 of 62 | Posted by: Richard Hagelgans - Battle Creek, MI

“So saddened to learn of Russ Mawby's passing. Russ hired me in 1985 to serve as Director of WKKF for Latin America and the Caribbean. For fifteen...Read More »
17 of 62 | Posted by: Marcos Kisil - Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Offering my deepest condolences to Russell's family and friends during this difficult time. I know there are no words to express the loss of a loved...Read More »
18 of 62 | Posted by: - Chicago, IL

“It was an honor and privilege to work under Russ' leadership at WKKF. He was a gracious man with a warm and friendly smile, and deep chuckle! Like W...Read More »
19 of 62 | Posted by: Maureen Myers - Summerville, SC

“Russ Mawby was one of the founding members of the IFYE International Exchange Program (originally known as International Farm Youth Exchange) being...Read More »
20 of 62 | Posted by: Jack Morse - Harrison, MI

“Please accept our deepest sympathies in this difficult time. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family as we all look forward to the...Read More »
21 of 62 | Posted by: A friend

“I was privileged to work at WKKF forseveral years under his tenure. Very kind hearted and generous man who always took time for everybody. Never a...Read More »
22 of 62 | Posted by: Cyndi Minear - Coworker

“I worked at the Foundation for a few years. I was so very impressed with the way DR. Mawby always took time to stop and visit with everyone he came...Read More »
23 of 62 | Posted by: Juanita Howes - Battle Creek, MI

“What joy in heaven as the Lord welcomed Dr. Mawby whose life and life's work enriched our world and enriched and encouraged all of us.From 1955 when...Read More »
24 of 62 | Posted by: Janet Baumgartner - Grand Rapids, MI

“Dr. Mawby inspired me, along with countless others, to maintain a faith that a better, more just world could emerge out of our best thinking,...Read More »
25 of 62 | Posted by: John Burkhardt - Ann Arbor, MI

“I feel privileged to have worked at the Kellogg Foundation during Russ' tenure as CEO. It seems like yesterday to see him walking the halls and...Read More »
26 of 62 | Posted by: Gwen Day - St. Joseph, MI

“I chose to light the green candle to represent his commitment to the students of MSU and the spirit he carried for this university. He sparkled when...Read More »
27 of 62 | Posted by: Diane Denoyer - Traverse City, MI

“So sorry to hear about Russ. Loved working for/with him on the farm as a kid. Yankee and Doodle were the best. The donkey and I cannot remember his...Read More »
28 of 62 | Posted by: Jeff Shumaker - Augusta, MI

“I was among those individuals who were privileged to work at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under the leadership of Russ Mawby. He was a fine gentleman...Read More »
29 of 62 | Posted by: Mike VanBuren - Richland, MI

“Russ was a wise visionary, a kind and compassionate leader, and a true gentleman. It was my personal pleasure to have worked with him as an MSU...Read More »
30 of 62 | Posted by: Marti and Bill Heil - Angola, IN

“Russ Mawby was one of the finest Christian gentlemen I've ever known. I count it a great privilege and honor to have had him as a friend. ”
31 of 62 | Posted by: Paul Gieser, M.D. - Carol Stream, IL

“What a loss! Russ was a singular human being with great intellect, wisdom and most of all humility. He not only shaped the Foundation and kept it...Read More »
32 of 62 | Posted by: Gail McClure - Saint Paul, MN

“Many memories come flooding back from our years at Yorkville Community Church and the role Russ had in supporting the church as a whole and...Read More »
33 of 62 | Posted by: Ann and Garland Johnson Cary, NC

“Dear Karen and family,So sorry for your loss. Mr Mawby was a great man in many ways. He will surely be missed. Dick and Peggy ”
34 of 62 | Posted by: Dick Stap - Monterey, CA

“Good Morning, will echo in the old 1851 community church, and Yorkville will be eternally grateful for that voice of leadership! While gardening with...Read More »
35 of 62 | Posted by: Al & Chloe Harris - Gull Lake, MI

“Karen, Louann, and Family,Please know how sorry I am for your loss. As a generous, intuitive, and remarkable man, Russ enriched the lives of many. He...Read More »
36 of 62 | Posted by: Roxanne Bengelink - Augusta, MI

“We are thinking of you and have you in our prayers. Vickie And Roger Gainous ”
37 of 62 | Posted by: Vickie Gainous - Cairo, GA

“LouAnn... Larry and I are so sorry to hear about Russ. Kelli called to let us know. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
38 of 62 | Posted by: Larry and Judy Rush - Georgetown, KY

“A great leader who mentored so many and had vision for a better world. My times with him on the back porch were priceless and centering! ”
39 of 62 | Posted by: Don Floyd - Mt Airy, MD - Friend

“Russ was the best friend a person could ever have......friends since the day we met in 1992. my prayers go out to Lou Anne and the Maury family. I...Read More »
40 of 62 | Posted by: Mary Estrada - Friend

“Russ was truly one of my heroes! His consistency, integrity, and wisdom have always been a reminder to me that there are still "great" men in high...Read More »
41 of 62 | Posted by: Karen Hollenbeck - Summerfield, FL

“Memories come flooding back.... my final of three interviews to work at WKKF and Russ's eyes sparkling as he took note on my resume that I had once...Read More »
42 of 62 | Posted by: Jan Corey Arnett - Battle Creek, MI

“So saddened to learn of Russ Mawby's passing. I feel so fortunate to have worked at the Foundation under his leadership. My deepest sympathy to Lou...Read More »
43 of 62 | Posted by: Jean Kline - Battle Creek, MI

“Russ was a giant of a human being. He hired me in 1988 as a Program Director and trusted me to lead the Foundation's 20 year Kellogg Youth Initiative...Read More »
44 of 62 | Posted by: Tyrone Baines - Durham, NC

“I first met Dr. Mawby in 1983 when I asked him if he could bring Yankee and Doodle, the oxen he raised for the 1776 Bicentennial, to a parade in...Read More »
45 of 62 | Posted by: Victor Sanchez - Battle Creek, MI

“It's entirely fitting that Russ' obituary would juxtapose his leadership of the Kellogg Foundation (one of the the world's largest philanthropies)...Read More »
46 of 62 | Posted by: Tom Springer - Three Rivers, MI

“Words fail me to adequately express my appreciation for Dr. Russell G. Mawby. He was a most kind and compassionate person. It was a privilege to work...Read More »
47 of 62 | Posted by: Merilyn Burgess - Springfield, MO

“My deepest condolences to LouAnn and the Mawby family. Dr.. Mawby hired me in 1982 to serve as Program Officer in Leadership and Education and to...Read More »
48 of 62 | Posted by: Larraine Matusak - Battle Creek, MI

“Inspiring to many and special to some. Love you grandpa. ”
49 of 62 | Posted by: Jennifer Dalrymple ( Mawby) - MI

“Michelle and I were very sad to learn of the passing of Russ Mawby. He was a wonderful, kind man who cared deeply about people, especially the youth...Read More »
50 of 62 | Posted by: Michelle and John Engler - MI

“Dr. Mawby once read the sorrow on my face at a conference during a presentation, and he took me aside and talked to me for about a half hour. His...Read More »
51 of 62 | Posted by: SHELLY Kasprzycki - LANSING, MI

“May your light shine the way your spirit did here. May your Legacy live on through your grandchildren, Great grandchildren , and Great Great...Read More »
52 of 62 | Posted by: Jennifer Dalrymple ( Mawby) - MI

“The "Community" has lost a great man and loyal friend. We will forever remember. Blessings and warm thoughts to family. ”
53 of 62 | Posted by: Pat Fosdick - Battle Creek, MI

“Dr. Mawby served as an inspiration to all of us who had the privilege of working with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. He was a mentor and friend to...Read More »
54 of 62 | Posted by: Roger Sublett - Mason, OH

“My heartfelt condolences to the family of Russ Mawby. What an awesome person whose legacy has inspired so many! It was always an honor and delight to...Read More »
55 of 62 | Posted by: Caroline Chambers - Detroit, MI

“I count it as a privilege and a blessing to have worked at the Kellogg Foundation when Dr. Mawby was our CEO. He was a kind man with a huge vision...Read More »
56 of 62 | Posted by: Sarah Smith - Marshall, MI

“A great leader and a good, compassionate man. It was a privilege to know and work with him at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. My sympathies to Lou Ann...Read More »
57 of 62 | Posted by: Connie Vunovich - Bellevue, MI

“We will miss our friend Russ, such a wise and gentle soul. We so appreciated all he did for his community over the years and the dedication he had...Read More »
58 of 62 | Posted by: Ann & John Gallagher - MI

“A good, good man! I will miss my friend from our years at Yorkville Church. My deepest sympathies to Russ's family. (sent on behalf of Lois...Read More »
59 of 62 | Posted by: Deb Hofmeister-Richardson - MI

“It was a privilege to have known and worked for this wonderful man. My heart goes out to Lou Ann and the family. ”
60 of 62 | Posted by: Denise Poyer - Bellevue, MI

“So sorry to hear about Russ's passing....praying for your family as you grieve for this wonderful man. Remember to be absent from the body is to be...Read More »
61 of 62 | Posted by: Ginnie Berry - Newark, OH

“Deepest sympathy to all the family! ”
62 of 62 | Posted by: Valerie & John Norton - MI


Army Emblem

Dr. Russell G. "Russ" Mawby of Augusta, MI

Russ died at the age of 89 on Friday, October 20, 2017. Russ was born February 23, 1928 in Kent County Michigan to Wesley G. and Ruby A. Mawby, fruit growers on their Orchard View Farm near Grand Rapids.

From a two-room school, Russ attended Creston High School playing the tuba for the Creston Polar Bears. He continued his education at Michigan State University graduating in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture. Next, Russ went to Purdue University for a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, then served two years as field artillery instructor in the U.S. Army. He returned to Michigan State, completing a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics in 1959.

In 1952, he joined the Michigan State faculty, rising to Assistant Director of Cooperative Extension responsible for statewide 4-H and youth development programs. In 1961 Russ was promoted to full professor, but was then recruited by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek to become Director of the Division of Agriculture. Russ became Kellogg Foundation President and CEO in 1970 and Chairman and CEO in 1982 until his retirement in 1995. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kellogg Company from 1974 until 1998.

Russ was the founding chairman of the Council of Michigan Foundations. He also helped organize the Michigan Nonprofit Association, and was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Community Service Commission. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch and also as a member of the Board of Directors of the J. M. Smucker Company.

With a deep and abiding love for his alma mater, Michigan State University, he served on its Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1996. He supported his Spartan football and basketball teams through good times and bad. During football season, he was known for betting hot fudge sundaes on the MSU vs. UM game.

Russ always downplayed his lifetime achievements and the helping hand he extended to many around the world. He would say "I'm just a farmer from Hickory Corners." He did his own daily morning and evening farm chores on his horse farm when at home. Humble is the word many of his friends used for the man who touched so many lives.

A devout Christian, Russ provided leadership with a small group of volunteers, to organize the first Battle Creek Community Prayer Breakfast in 1981. It continues today attracting over 1,000 area citizens each year. Russ was a long-time active member of Yorkville Community Church near his home in Augusta.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly fifty years, Ruth, his son Doug, his brother Edwin and sister Marion. Russ is survived by his wife of 16 years, Lou Ann Mawby, his children Karen (Randy) Willis, Debra Mawby, David Mawby, James (Jolene) Sherman, Steven Sherman and his brother, Roger Mawby. He enjoyed spending time with his 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

The Memorial Service and reception celebrating Russ' life will be held Saturday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sherman Lake YMCA-Kellogg Hall, 6225 North 39th Street, Augusta. Russ' family will greet friends on Friday, October 27, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home, 105 Capital Avenue, Northeast, Battle Creek. Private family interment will be held at Yorkville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Russ' honor may be directed to the Yorkville Community Church, 11523 East D Avenue, Richland, Ml 49083 or the Battle Creek Community Foundation for the Mawby Fund, 32 West Michigan Avenue, Suite 1, Battle Creek, Ml 49017.