Russell Slack

You Take Care

Numb. I’ve been writing this in my head for over 2 weeks now. The trouble is words feel so small and will fail to communicate how much the touch of another’s life affects you. Like many the news of Russ’s death was a shock. Today is his funeral, so I, with many others will be remembering him with great fondness and thinking about his young family. Others knew him far better. To me, he was the guy who lived just north of Sheffield (when we arrived as a family), later moving up to the Lower Derwent Valley. I went birding with him in the LDV, in the Sheffield area and tried to grip him off on his pioneering patch around Whitby. He inspired and set me up to write “Frontiers in Birding” and wrote better books himself. He was quiet, humble with a deep inner strength. The way he dealt with life and people, even in his own death are a mark of his character and ones worth emulating. Others have written really helpful and moving words about Russ which I commend to anyone reading this: here and here. Perhaps Russ’s most frequent parting words were ‘You take care’. There was never anything ‘throw away’ about it and I don’t think I ever really heard the same phrase from anyone else. It always came across as most genuine. One life impacts another more than the person perhaps ever realises. Today I am thinking especially of him and praying for Linda, India and Ruby. Thank You Russ. You take care.

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