There are people in each of our lives whose influence stands out. After my wife and parents, I'd have to count my Mission President, Dale Russon, under whom I served the second year of my mission in the California Oakland Mission from June 1973 to June 1975. I had the honor of working closely with him for eight fun and instructive months in the mission office as the 'Car Czar' and finance clerk. He passed away last week, at age 84.
President Russon lost most of a couple of fingers in a snowblower, and had an unusual handshake. He was one of the three Russon Brothers of the mortuary company bearing the name, and had some unusual stories. Each of the three brothers served as Mission President successively in different missions, which is also unusual. I learned to my chagrin that he had unusual feet (some webbed toes) when I drew his name at Christmas and bought him rainbow toe socks.
We visited President Russon and his wife Mava last year at their home in Salt Lake City shortly before leaving on our mission. If ever a dwelling shone with a bright clear spirit of love and family, it was theirs. As we talked, at one point Sister Russon missed something and asked that it be repeated. Dale turned to her and with a grin said, "Turn 'em up, Mava!"
This was one good man.