Jeff D. Russell
Jeff D. Russell, 72, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, formerly of Monona, Wis., passed away on Monday, May 11, 2020, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born June 22, 1947, to Donald and Lucile (Fowler) Russell
in Glenwood, Minn.
Jeff grew up in Monona, Wis., and graduated from Monona Grove High School
in 1965. He then went on to the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in electrical engineering. He received his bachelor's degree in 1970, his master's degree in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1973. While at UW, Jeff was inducted into the honorary engineering and research societies of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi.
Jeff spent most of his working life in Cedar Rapids as an electrical engineer for the Collins Radio Division of Rockwell International. Within five years of being hired, he rose from a technical staff member 3 to a technical staff member 8 -- the highest existing engineering position and one that is rarely awarded.
During his time at Rockwell Collins, Jeff was the inventor or co-inventor of 13 patents, mostly having to do with microprocessors. In 1977, his company was in competition with Magnavox and Texas Instruments for a federal government contract involving the first successful GPS receiver. Rockwell Collins won this contract and Jeff developed the computer subsystem for it.
Jeff's main hobby involved ham radio. Back in high school, he taught himself Morse code. Around 1984, he developed an automated Morse code transmitter called the Kansas City Keyer. Those units were produced and sold as either kits or assembled commercial units for which Jeff received royalties.
Jeff is survived by one brother and sister-in-law, Clayton and Barbara of Summerfield, Fla.; three nephews, Clayton of the United Arab Emirates, Allen of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Donald of Charlotte, N.C.; and longtime friend, Jeff Spicer of Cedar Rapids.
Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services in Cedar Rapids.
Please share your support and memories with Jeff's family on his tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.