Edgar Farr Russell Jr., 77, a Maritime Service veteran who was a retired civilian official of the Naval Intelligence Support Center in Suitland, died of cancer Oct. 24 at a hospital in Newark.
Mr. Russell, a lifelong District resident, had been in Newark to attend "Triumph and Tragedy in the Air," a play written by his older son about the family's connections to the Wright brothers and the birth of aviation.
Born and raised in Washington, Mr. Russell graduated from Western High School in 1945 and served as captain of the school's corps of cadets.
He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., in 1949. He received a master's degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 1951.
He was commissioned an ensign in the Maritime Service and in the Naval Reserve.
Mr. Russell entered active Maritime Service duty in 1951, followed by active Navy duty from 1952 to 1954. In the Navy, Mr. Russell graduated from the Naval Intelligence School and performed intelligence duty in Charleston, S.C.
Upon his release from active duty in 1954, he joined the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington as a civilian intelligence analyst. In 1963, he transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency at Arlington Hall Station.
Mr. Russell spent about a year working for Rep. Thomas S. Gettys (D-S.C.) before returning to intelligence work in the early 1970s. He coordinated the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program at the Naval Intelligence Support Center until he retired in 1987.
During his civil service career, he also continued to serve in the Naval Reserve with commands of reserve intelligence units until his retirement as a captain in 1983. His honors included the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal.
He was a member of the vestry and director of acolytes at All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church in Washington; a life member of St. Andrew's Society; and a Kentucky Colonel.
His wife of 48 years, Jean Russell, died in 2000.
Survivors include two sons, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Edgar Farr Russell III of Washington and Frazier Neely Southey Russell of New York.