Mr. Russell Steven Reagan, 62, passed away Thursday, June 3, 2021, at Columbus Regional Healthcare.
Born Dec. 27, 1958, in Lexington, to Robert William Reagan and Annie Virginia Reagan, Russell had a strong will, a tender heart and a generous spirit from the beginning to the end. He dearly loved people and willingly shared his time and resources with his community, church, friends and family. One of his greatest joys was to prepare “Lexington-style” barbecue, hot dip and slaw with all the trimmings and share it with people he loved. No one could cook quite like Russell!
Russell grew up in Wilmington and learned a very strong work ethic as a young boy working summers for his father in his electrical construction business.
Russell was a proud member of the first graduating class of Laney High School, where he graduated as salutatorian in 1977. He then began working full-time in his father’s business, where, after earning his unlimited electrical contracting license, he helped to build Reagan Electrical Contractors into a multi-state construction company. He was a key player in the construction of Harbor Oaks Condominiums, the first high-rise building at Carolina Beach.
After working in construction for 15 years, he decided to change career paths and attended Cape Fear Community College, where he obtained an associate degree in nursing. Again demonstrating his drive and ambition, Russell was named the first recipient of CFCC’s award for most outstanding alumni. He continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
After UNC-W graduation, he worked as a critical care nurse, deciding later to further his education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There he earned his Master of Science in Nursing, graduating as the valedictorian of his class.
Russell then earned his board certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and worked for 20 years at Columbus Regional Heathcare. He often said that although he had not taken the traditional path to becoming a CRNA, his journey built the foundation for what he felt was his calling and ministry in serving and caring for his patients.
Russell loved and adored his family, spending many hours coaching, attending and cheering his two sons’ and granddaughter’s sporting and civic events. In true Russell Reagan fashion, he coached his son’s high school basketball team to a state championship. He was an avid beekeeper, loved to hunt (training an award-winning German Shorthaired Pointer he named Joe) and became a master fisherman, fishing on the Bassmaster’s circuit in the 1980s.
Russell was a man with strong Christian faith and values. He was a member of the Hallsboro Church of God for 30 years, serving in many positions. He was particularly fond of the music program and managed the sound and video system at his church. He delighted many who heard him sing, with his beautiful bass voice.
He is survived by his wife, Karen Hewett Reagan; two sons, Russell Steven Reagan Jr. and wife, Erin, of Whiteville, and Connor Luke Reagan of the home; his mother, Annie Virginia Reagan of Garner; three brothers, Dr. Robert William Reagan Jr. and wife, Tammy, of Clinton, Timothy Brian Reagan and wife, Tammy, of Safety Harbor, Fla., Jonathan Lee Reagan of Garner; and one granddaughter, Ryleigh Savannah Reagan.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert William Reagan.
The family will receive friends for visitation from 2–3 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, at the Hallsboro Church of God. Following visitation, his service will be held at 3 p.m at the church, officiated by his pastor, Rev. Danny Williams, with the graveside service immediately following in the Whiteville Memorial Cemetery. Peacock Funeral Home of Whiteville is serving the family.
Before Russell’s passing, he began a drive to raise funds for new sound equipment for his church. So, in lieu of flowers, Russell would want donations made to the music program at the Hallsboro Church of God, P.O. Box 52, Hallsboro, N.C. 28442.
Online condolences may be made at www.peacockfuneralhome.net. A webcast of the service will be available on Russell’s obituary page at www.peacockfuneralhome.net after completion of the service.