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Obituary for Russell Ray Stutzman
Russell Ray Stutzman Madison
Russell Ray Stutzman, 83, died Saturday, January 12, 2019. Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Madison, MS with burial following in the Chapel Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 12 Noon Thursday in the Parish Hall at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church.
Mr. Stutzman was born on June 11, 1935, in Perry, Ohio; the son of the late Raymond and Freda Stutzman. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Bowling Green State University. A veteran, Mr. Stutzman served his country in the US Army in the Intelligence Corps.
Mr. Stutzman met the love of his life, Frances while in high school and their great love affair lasted for 62 years, enjoying every Friday night as date night. During their marriage, they walked side by side, hand in hand as partners in life, living in Atlanta, GA, Miami, Fl; Europe and the Jackson, Mississippi Metropolitan Area.
Mr. Stutzman cherished spending time with his grandchildren and his family. He loved calling his three grandchildren RC, Moonpie and Peanuts.
An avid runner until his 70’s, Mr. Stutzman ran his first full marathon at 65. He loved the teamwork, drive and goal setting of the running clubs he belonged to over the years and passed this loved of running to his son Mark and his grandson, Ryan.
A talented businessman, he became his career in 1969, serving as Director of Marketing for Munford, Inc. Mr. Stutzman was responsible for 1300 convenience stores marketing, advertising, and merchandising. In 1974, He accepted a position as Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors for Jitney Jungle, Inc. While at Jitney Jungle, Mr. Stutzman pioneered and developed innovative ideas like fast food in the stores. In 1981, Mr. Stutzman became President and Chief Executive Officer of SMS, Inc, a multifaceted convenience/gas station consulting firm.
In addition to being a talented financial executive, Mr. Stutzman had an entrepreneurial, innovative spirit. Leading the way, putting ATMs in convenience stores as well as fried chicken, additional ready made food for customers to purchase-- these are now at almost every store today, all over the country.
In the early 1990’s Shell Oil International hired Mr. Stutzman to assist their European Operations in Belgium, Ireland and Athen. Mr. Stutzman was tasked to bring his acumen, talents, experience and entrepreneurial spirit to convert their gas stations to the American convenience store model.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Frances Lee Clark Stutzman of Madison; son, Mark Stutzman of Crystal Springs, MS; daughter, Lisa Stutzman of Madison, MS; sisters, Bobbie Calvert of Ohio; and Dee Dee Shaw of Florida. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ryan Skelly of Madison; Anna Marie Stutzman of Crystal Springs and Hannah Stutzman of Crystal Springs.