Russell R. Dynes, Sr.
October 2, 1923 - February 10, 2019
Russell R. Dynes, Sr., age 95, of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019.
Born in Dundalk, Ontario, on October 2, 1923, he was the son of the late Oliver Wesley Dynes, Chair of the Department of Agronomy at the University of Tennessee and Carlotta (Rowe) Dynes, a music educator. Russell had one sister, Velma. He was educated in New York, Florida, New Mexico and Tennessee.
Russell’s education was interrupted while at the University of Tennessee by World War II. After basic training, he was assigned to an Army Specialist Training Group in Engineering at the University of Alabama. He was later assigned to the 138º Petroleum Distribution Company which built a pipeline from India through Burma and into China to provide supplies for the CBI Theater. After discharge, he returned to the University of Tennessee, where he received his BA & MA in the social sciences and was briefly on faculty there.
In 1947, he married Susan Swan of Mobile, Alabama. She was a teacher and later the mother of four sons. She died in 2003. In 1951, they moved to Ohio State University, where he completed his PhD and joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He was chair of the department from 1973 until he moved to Washington DC to become Executive Officer of the American Sociological Association. In 1982, he became Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware remaining until 1989.
In 1964 with colleague E.L. Quarentelli, he created The Disaster Research Center focusing on social science aspects of disasters. The work of the center became internationally known and developed cooperative relations with scholars around the world. The center moved to the University of Delaware in 1985.
Interested in international education, Dynes earned Fulbright fellowships in Egypt, India and Thailand. He served as President of the Fulbright Alumni Association and co-edited a book on the 50th anniversary of the program. He lectured in over thirty countries around the world. He wrote and/or edited eleven books and over 100 articles in professional journals.
Russ served as president of the North Central Sociological Association, president of the Research Committee on Disaster, International Sociological Association and Treasurer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He was a member of the staff of the Presidential Commission on the Disaster at the Three Mile Island.
In addition to his parents, Russ was preceded in death by his wife, Susan in 2003; and son, Jon in 2016. He is survived by his sons, Russ, Jr. (Jane Luke), Patrick and Greg; and grandchildren, Oliver, Christopher, Madeline and Andrew.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 1 pm until 3 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in memory of Dr. Russell Dynes to help establish a fund in his honor at the University of Delaware. Please send contributions to: University of Delaware, Gifts Processing, 83 E. Main St., 3rd Fl., Newark, DE 19716. Make checks payable to: ‘University of Delaware’ and include on the memo line “in memory of Dr. Russell Dynes”. Gifts can also be made on the University of Delaware’s secure website, www.udel.edu/makeagift.