A Man of Valor – Russ Rainey shares his story…

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. In 1934. My dad was Editor/Publisher of the Southeastern Drug Journal, a trade magazine for the drugstore business. He passed while I was in high school, so I wound up entering Georgia Tech in Atlanta in the school of Industrial Management. I also obtained a scholarship in the NROTC. I have talked with a few fellow officers who graduated with me at Ga. Tech, one of whom served with me aboard the radar picket ship, it’s nice to stay in touch. I enjoyed music, and played violin in various ensembles and the Atlanta Youth Symphony during those years as well.

Graduating in 1955, I immediately went on active duty, and following training in firefighting, was sent to a fleet ammunition ship in the Mediterranean. I had a strong feeling of responsibility, considering the role of my first assignment: keeping a task force armed for any eventuality. Our ship was tasked to rearm aircraft carriers in the event of war, and although we only practiced transfer, we were prepared to rearm aircraft for any situation, including nuclear. I further served aboard a Liberty ship converted to a Radar Picket Ship, with a partial crew of U S Air Force personnel, part of the Dew Line ( Distance Early Warning). I served the remainder of my naval duty, standby, attached to the Naval Ammunition Depot in New Jersey.

Married in 1956 to Patricia’ I joined F.W. Dodge Corp. in 1959 in New York as a District Manager in their “Sweets Catalog” Division, working with manufacturers of building materials and components to provide specification data to architects, engineers and contractors for all types of buildings. Later, Dodge became part of McGraw Hill Corp.  There I published a reference resource for Interior Designers.

In the mid-eighties I was transferred to the Miami office, and settled in Marco Island, where I retired. There we enjoyed our passion for sailing, both competitively and for pleasure. In 1991, I joined the Community Emergency Response Team with the Marco Fire Department. When we later moved to Fiddler’s Creek, I organized a similar team with East Naples Fire. I represented CERT on the Collier Citizens Corp for many years.  We are both Past Commodores of the Sailing Association of Marco Island. We also found opportunities to sail abroad, chartering in Greece and the Bahamas. We were able to take a shipboard tour around the world, followed by a follow-up tour by air to visit people we met in New Zealand and elsewhere. Over the years, we were privileged to visit Antarctica, Turkey, England and China on short trips.

Our daughter and her husband run a Rescue Mission in Florida, our oldest son is a construction supervisor in Maryland, building hotels and commercial projects all over the northeast, and our youngest son is a patent lawyer in Washington DC.

In 2013, Pat heard a presentation about The Arlington,  and we began thinking about the next stage in our lives. We were then living in Fiddler’s Creek, just off Marco. The last days of 2015, we moved into The Arlington, among the first in the Independent Living Mid-rise. The small photo to the left is breaking ground at The Arlington.

We have an active vets group here in conjunction with Avow, meeting online weekly. We have supported several vets here in participating in the Collier-Lee Honor Flight, and we have a vets photo gallery in the Healthcare building in excess of fifty pictures of Vets residing, working or resided here. I took the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. two years ago and it was a remarkable experience.

We were relieved to pass on the demands of home ownership, and not add to the concerns of our kids. The Arlington was especially attractive as we remained in our comfortable territory of Marco, continuing our convenient ties to Church, sailing friends, and other activities. New friends here are a bonus. We are confident that we made the right choice.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.