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I met Herbert Jackson Russell in the fall of ’39. It was during rushing. We both pledged Phi Gam, and from there on, our lives would be closely entwined. Sophomore year and senior year, we roomed together in the Phi Gam House. Herb had a Model A which greatly enhanced our lives. At one point he had broken his foot, so I became the chauffeur. I remember picking up Mrs. Russell in ‘Hamp when she came to visit.
After graduation in Jan. ’44, I went into the U.S. Army Air Corps and Herb into the U.S. Navy. I called on him once while he was at Columbia and found Frank Beatty ’43 on guard duty.
As a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he captained a tugboat in Boston Harbor. It was during this period that he met and married a Wave, Elizabeth Smith from Summit N.J. The love of his life, and his rock. They were married June 29, 1946.
At war’s end, Herb went to work for ARCO where he stayed all his working days, first in Philadelphia.
In the mid-’40s while I was a student at Penn Dental, we resumed our relationship. At the time Herb and Betty were living in a nice home in Rosemont. Beryl and I and our two children would spend many weekends in Rosemont where Herb had started the boys club and coached the giants little league team. He was a linesman for college football games for many years and commissioner for Radnor Township for six years.
Then, Herb was transferred to the west coast where he and Betty had a lovely home in Flintridge, Calif. Through the years we have managed to get together almost every year, though living on opposite coasts. We managed this via Amherst Reunions or, when Beryl and I were in the travel business, Betty and Herb would join us and our New England friends on many trips all over the world.
Herb and Betty both became involved in “the Huntington Collection” then on to Huntington Gardens where Betty was a docent and Herb was in the information booth, where he continued three time a week till a week before his death on Oct. 25, 2008.
His memorial service was Nov. 29, 2008, at Royal Oaks Manor, Bradbury, Calif.
It started with “Senior Song” and ended with “To the Fairest College.”
Herb was my dearest friend.
Herb Arnold— Phi Gam ’43