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Colonel Russell McChesney Harwood, USMC (Ret.)

Obituary for Colonel Russell McChesney Harwood, USMC (Ret.)

November 17, 1930 - June 23, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 87


Russell McChesney Harwood, our Eternal Colonel, age 87, was surrounded by loving family when he went to join our Lord and Savior on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Russell Harwood was born in Brownsville, Texas, November 17, 1930; the son of Wallace Baker Harwood, and Lois McChesney Harwood. A graduate of Brownsville High School, he went on to get his degree from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. After graduation he joined the Marine Corps and over the years he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his loyal service to the Marines burned in Okinawa, Japan and transported to BAMC in San Antonio for care. Also, he received the Meritorious Service Medal for being Commanding Officer of the 4th Recon Battalion in San Antonio over three years and received a Gold Star in lieu of a second Meritorious Service Medal for his service as Commanding Officer of the 8th Staff Group in Houston where he led Operation Iron Hand. Russ also served as National President of the Marine Corp Reserve Officer's Association. He spent a total of 33 years on active and reserve duty serving the country and Corps he loved so much.

In 1953 he met the love of his life, the beautiful Mary Ann Cameron of Wickenburg, Arizona. They were married on October 22, 1955. Four children soon followed. He delighted in his wife and children and eventually in his grandchildren. Above all, he loved to take his family traveling the world and to make memories in their second home on South Padre Island. In addition to his legacy as a loving father, he and our mother left us with a wonderful gift of Christian faith. They provided their family with a marvelous example of how a Christian thinks, acts and speaks, and we are grateful for their witness.

He began working at the Brownsville Compress & Warehouse Co. in 1956 and became owner and President in 1969. He was a great believer in public service, and served his church, Church of the Advent, Episcopal, on the vestry for many years. He also served for fifteen years as a Trustee on the Board of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen. Additionally, he served for fifteen years on the Board of Saint Joseph Academy, and as President for three terms. More than that, he served his fellow man constantly in other quiet ways with financial contributions, with expertise, with energy and with time.

After losing his cherished wife, Mary Ann, in 1993, he was blessed to meet and marry Carol Collie of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1997. They had twenty years together filled with travel and enjoyment.

He is survived by his second wife, Carol; his children, Rusty Harwood and wife Lucy, Roane Harwood, Elizabeth Cantu and husband Vince, and Chris Harwood and wife Alejandra. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Avery Harwood, Hunter Martin, Allegra, Castille, and Cullum Cantu, and Shelby and Brandon Harwood.

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Honorary pallbearers are: Carl Crowe, Col. Bill Duncan, (USMC Retired), MSgt. Charles Gonzalez (USMC Retired), Col. Otha Grisham (USMC Retired), Jim Hiester, Frank Parker, The Reverend Randy Vickers, and Gen. Charles Wilhelm (USMC Retired).

In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make a donation to St. David's Episcopal Church, 1300 Wiltshire Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78209, Church of the Advent, Episcopal, 103 W. Elizabeth St., Brownsville, Texas 78520, or The Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102 PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • St. David's Episcopal Church
    1300 Wiltshire Ave.
    San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Church of the Advent, Episcopal
    103 W. Elizabeth St.
    Brownsville, TX 78520
  • The Semper Fi Fund
    825 College Blvd.
    Sute 102 PMB 609
    Oceanside, CA 92057

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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