Obituary: J. Graham Russell

Posted at 1:46 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 15:46:52-04

Graham Russell died peacefully at home on April 24th, 2021, in Bozeman, MT.

Graham traveled far from the small town of Swadlincote, England where he was born on July 31st, 1946. He was educated at Blundells Boarding School, Pembroke College of Cambridge University, where he studied Economic Geography, and finally at Cranfield Business School, where he earned an MBA. He met his wife, Sunniva, while living in London, and they married in Southampton. This August, they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Graham always had a desire to travel. Working for a large British shipping company gave him the opportunity to live in Paris for a short stint, before he was transferred to the US in 1976. During this period, he was excited to work in the World Trade Center and travel to many West African countries. Subsequently, he developed a number of environmental testing labs which also involved travel within the US and to several South American countries. Finally, his career turned to Denver, CO to work in the sustainability sphere and teach the subject to MBA students at CU Denver. He very much enjoyed mentoring these graduate students and furthering the sustainability cause.

Sunniva and Graham’s daughter, Anna, was born in 1978. Their lives were periodically uprooted for career moves as they moved westwards via Chicago and Denver. They discovered that the Rocky Mountain region suited them well and after several years living in Denver and Estes Park, moved to Bozeman in 2019.

Graham was happiest when hiking, both in Colorado and Montana. Vacations, since retirement, were taken in South America, Europe, and New Zealand, and always included many hiking adventures. His other interests were squash and racquetball in his younger days, gardening, and giving back to his community – most recently to the Estes Park and Bozeman Library Foundations.

He is survived by his wife Sunniva, daughter Anna (Luke) and grandchildren Sarah and Benji.

A Celebration of Life is pending. Memorials may be made to the Bozeman Library Foundation ( or a charity of donor’s choice.Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service