Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lucas George Russ entered into eternal rest on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, at his residence in New Orleans. Lucas was a native of Convent and a resident of New Orleans for over 30 years.

He was the son of the late Rev. Moses Sr. and Lillie Guidry Russ. He was reared in a Christian home and was baptized in the Mississippi River by his father. His Baptismal Ceremony was celebrated at Pleasant Hill Convent, where his father was the pastor. Lucas graduated from Cypress Grove High School in Lutcher.

Lucas was an avid sports fan; he loved baseball, football, basketball and boxing. While at Cypress Grove High School Lucas joined the Cypress Grove Bobcats baseball team, where he was considered the all-star catcher. He also played on the Convent Hawks baseball league team. Lucas also organized a Little League baseball program for the youth in his community. He was the first black school bus driver hired by the St. James Parish School Board and drove for over 30 years. Lucas was instrumental in the development of transportation for students on the east bank of St. James Parish to Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Lucas developed a strong desire to seek political justice and equality for his race. This desire led Lucas to organize and orchestrate a mass voter registration drive in the 1960s. Though he did not win, Lucas was the first black to actually run for a political office in his community. In spite of this, he was not discouraged. Lucas was very instrumental in the following developments: first Head Start Program in the black community; the J.K. Haynes Foundation, a program which protected black teachers from being discriminated against for seeking fair pay and benefits; Romeville High School for Boys; and the hiring of black workers at the Freeport Sulphur plant.

Because of his involvement in politics, he was also instrumental in securing governmental jobs for many blacks in the parish. Later in his life Lucas relocated to New Orleans. Again, Lucas developed a strong desire to reach out to the community. He became a member of the New Orleans Urban League. He established the Breakfast Club, a program for under-privileged children in low-income families. Lucas formed his own political organization named PEP (People, Empowered, Purpose); and he worked faithfully with various political organizations, such as BOLD.

Another great trait Lucas possessed was the ability to create laughter and humor in just about anything. This personality made him an instant friend to many. Lucas was not a minister in church, but, he was a minister of service.

Lucas was not a teacher in the classroom, but he was a teacher on the bus, on the playgrounds and in the streets.

Survivors include his siblings, Rev. John Russ (Verdia), Ruth Russ DeBeau (Julien), Rev. James Russ (Minister Ellen), Samuel and Amos Russ, Minister Elizabeth Russ McPherson (Elder William), Naomi Russ Diggs (David) and Elder Moses Russ Jr. (Elder Sylvia). He was the loving and devoted uncle of Ade (who Lucas loved and help raise as his son) and Shukura Cha-Jua, Wendel and Roxanne Russ, Roylin Picou, Neskesha and Odeha Nixon, Addison, Timothy, Samuel Jr., Wenona”The Minister” John Butler and the late Courtney Russ. He is also survived by one daughter, Jeana Faucheux, and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends.

We will miss Lucas terribly; however, his spirit will continue to live on in our hearts.

Service arrangements are still pending. Call Majestic Mortuary at 504-523-5872 for more information.