Russ Kisby - A Biography
We will remember Russ Kisby as a man who epitomized humility, humour and helpful guidance to many - family, friends and colleagues - throughout his life. Russ gave so much and expected so little in return. He was a true humanitarian.
Russ was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in 1940 and raised in Saskatoon. He was the son of a CP Railway employee, "Freddy", and nurse, Maybn, and was the much admired brother of his sister Lee.
Russ graduated from the University of Saskatchewan's College of Physical Education in 1963 and later earned a Master's Degree in Community Leadership and Development at Springfield College in Massachusetts, USA.
His professional career began at the Montreal YMCA and the National YMCA before joining the newly launched ParticipACTION in 1972. He became President in 1978, and remained in that position until retirement in 2001. With the re-launch of ParticipACTION in 2006, he continued to contribute to this unique Canadian movement as an advisor.
Russ was admired nationally and internationally for his professional contributions as a leader in health promotion, physical fitness and social marketing.
He received numerous awards including, the R. Tait McKenzie Honour Award (CAPHERD), Government of Canada 125 medal, University of Saskatchewan Honourary Doctor of Laws degree, World Sport For All Award and Sport For All Pioneer Award.
He was named as one of the 100 most influential graduates from the University of Saskatchewan and the Russ Kisby Physical Activity and Health Promotion Laboratory was opened at the U of S College of Kinesiology.
The many accolades and honours Russ received throughout his life, recognized his compassion and quiet wisdom, and are tributes to this humble man who, in both word and deed, did so much.
It is impossible to have shared time with Russ without recalling his quick wit and the laughter! He was not a stand-up comedian, but rather, a quiet voice that with very few words could provoke gales of laughter from one person - or a room full of people. During his life, Russ created, almost daily, many moments to remember!
There will never be another Russ Kisby! However, those of us who knew and loved Russ will hold him in our hearts forever. His was a life well lived, and he was an inspiration to all of us whose lives he touched!