Russell Deane Minter

September 11, 1926 - 2020


The Reverend Russell Deane Minter was born on September 11, 1926 to Norah Minnie Crouch and Albert Charles Minter in Santa Monica, California.

Russ grew up in the company-owned town of Trona at Searles Lake, California. After eighth grade, he boarded at the home of Irene (Feme) Quinby, graduating from North Hollywood High in 1942. He applied for an Army Specialized Training Reserve program focussed on Russian studies. Instead he spent the rest of the war as a civil engineering student, first at Oregon State, and after boot camp, Fort Hood, Texas when he turned 18, at Penn State. He finished service at 1st Army Headquarters, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was discharged in Los Angeles, in 1946, where he enrolled at UCLA as an English major under the GI bill. He received master’s degrees from The University of California Berkeley in English and Library Science.

Russ worked as a librarian both in this country and in England until he was accepted at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and was ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1964. During that time he married Nancy Scurry and while serving first as a Deacon, then Priest at St. Augustine-By-the-Sea Santa Monica, California, his two daughters, Laurel and Darcy, were born. Called to be vicar of St. Stephens, Valencia, Calif., Russ planned and completed building a multi-purpose space to incorporate both worships and community activities. 

In 1982 he entered a training program at Luke’s Hospital, Houston, Texas. Russ went on to be a hospital chaplain and clinical pastoral education supervisor for priests and nuns at Ben Taub County Hospital in Houston. In 1988 he was called to be Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Eagle Lake, Texas retiring 10 years later.

Building his forest cottage on Discovery Bay, he joined St. Paul’s where he met his second wife, Elizabeth Arnel, in a church book group. He continued to celebrate, joined the men’s Bible group (the best of his many groups), became hospice, fire and police chaplains, and accepted all he met as they were. He was, in his daughter’s words, a kind fun-loving Dad, loyal and compassionate. 

Russ was a complex, yet simple man, a sudden smile, startling grace, a light of love. St. Augustine was an old friend; Mahler a musical companion, Wordsworth his Muse. A first-generation American with the soul of a Brit, the British Isles were always lurking in his memory, waiting to be reclaimed as home.

Preceded in death by his sister Brenda and her husband John, his niece Debby and husband Phillips, cousins Edna, Pete, and Roy;  he is survived by his wife Elizabeth; daughters Laurel and Darcy; nephew John; niece Jennifer; stepchildren Zane, Lori, Rick, Gordon and Keith; their loves Sandy, Robin, Allison, Kathleen and Jennifer; and stepgrandchildren Ashley, Andrew, Trent, Sophia, Clark, Schreyer and Miles.

A funeral will be held in the spring.


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