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  • Kate Munning

We’ll miss you, Russ.

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

A moving tribute from our executive director, David Epstein:

One of The Land Conservancy’s first trustees and strongest supporters passed away recently at the age of 95. Russell C. Buchanan served on the board for 18 years; he was treasurer and a member of the executive committee for many years. I met Russ at a board meeting at his office at Midlantic Bank in Morristown on the second day of my tenure at The Land Conservancy–June 15, 1994. He was friendly, direct and helpful that evening, as he would remain for the 26 years I was lucky enough to know him. Russ became my biggest booster and would stand up at each Conservancy public event, uninvited and unscripted, and say in his booming voice (which I can still hear), “I want to take a moment to mention what a great job our executive director David Epstein is doing.” I can’t tell you how many times he did that, or how much I appreciated it. 

We saw each other less after he left the board, but we included him in as many Conservancy events as we could. It was always a treat to see him, and he was always interested in how the organization was progressing, how our endowment (which he had helped to secure) was faring, and about other trustees he had served with. We shared a love of skiing, which we could discuss endlessly, and he always set the bar high, impressing me by continuing to ski downhill and then cross country into his 90s.  

I am sorry to lose Russ as a friend and supporter. We don’t get enough champions in our lives, and Russ was always one for me. I will miss him dearly.

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