MGen Russell Norman Senior, CMM, CD, RCAF (Retired)

19 Feb 20

Major-General (Retired) Russell Norman Senior of Ottawa, Ontario died peacefully surrounded by his family on 19 February 2020 at Eastholme Home for the Aged in Powassan near North Bay, Ontario.

Russ was born 25 November 1930 in Verdun, QC, to Harry and Gwyneth Senior. He was the youngest and (by all accounts except his) the favourite of four siblings along with Joan Ulley(surviving), Alan, and Frank.

He graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in 1951, although his favourite courses were always in the Arts. He almost immediately joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Flying Officer at the newly opened CFS Foymount radar station.

It was here he met the most important person in his life, a military nurse, Dorothy Harnett. They married and were posted together to Clinton, Ontario where the RCAF communication school was based. They started their family at that time and had two of their three children, Richard and Judith.

From there, the family was posted to Montreal, where Jennifer was born. A brief stint there was followed by a very rewarding posting to 4ATAF in Germany as a Liaison Officer with the US Air Force. There is little doubt the three years spent there were some of the most formative for both him and his family.

The family returned to Toronto in 1968 for an “interesting” year while Russ checked off the Staff College box on his military resume followed by a posting to Ottawa in 1970, where he would remain for the rest of his career.

Although Russ had been recognized as a superior officer throughout his career, it was at this point he began to rise quickly through the ranks, going from Lieutenant-Colonel to Major-General in fairly rapid succession. He spent time in project management and in directorates, but his crowning achievement was as Commander of Communications Command from 1976 to 1978. He had set himself a goal of visiting every Communications site and he completed it, over 50 different sites scattered all over Canada, including the far north and even Bermuda.

Russ was invested as a Commander of the Order of Military Merit in June 1982 for his exceptional military service. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 followed by an enjoyable second career as a consultant with CFN Consultants. He and Dorothy retired for good with Russ continuing a very full life of reading, travel and golf (terribly, as he would state) as a member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club for many years. He also volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society. In this last role, he became the Volunteer Event Experience Chair for Ottawa’s Relay for Life for many years. He was honoured by the Canadian Cancer Society with an award for his volunteer contributions.

Dorothy and Russ remained in Ottawa until Dorothy passed away in 2013. With the greatest love of his life gone, he struggled and shortly after moved to North Bay to be closer to family until his passing.

Russ is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Susan of North Bay, daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Ian of North Bay, and daughter and son-in-law, Jenny and Russ of Barrie. He was proud grandfather to Christopher, Mac, Ben, Samantha, Danielle, Cassie, Lexie, Nick, Maia, and Tessa.

Our heartfelt thanks to Eastholme Home for the Aged, North Bay Regional Health Center, as well as Dr Ng and Dr Jinnah for their wonderful care.

Donations – Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Wildlife Federation.

The Interment will be at Pinecrest Cemetery at a private family ceremony.