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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

December 2020

TDCJ Mourns the Loss of Kenneth Russell

Kenneth Russell
Kenneth Russell

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

84-year-old Maintenance Supervisor Kenneth Russell had over 10 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Smith Unit in Lamesa. Russell tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11, 2020 and was admitted into the hospital in Lubbock on November 19, 2020. Kenneth Russell passed away December 2, 2020 leaving behind his wife of 50 years and six children.

“Kenneth Russell was an example to all for making the most of life. His 10-year service began at age 74,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “He was an amazing example for all those around him. The agency was better off because of his choice to serve and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

“He was a phenomenal role model for staff and inmates who loved going to work and making a difference each day,” said Facilities Division Director Cody Ginsel. “Kenneth Russell lived with a positive spirit and was known by his TDCJ family as a go-getter, often outperforming others half his age. You simply cannot replace him. His impact will live on as will his memory.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had twenty-five employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.