A mentor and friend



SaltWire Network



Journalist John DeCoste, of Aylesford, said he has known Berton Russell for years, “and my life has been immeasurably better for knowing him.” As a gatherer and disseminator of Annapolis Valley sports news for more than 20 years, DeCoste always looked up to Russell. He considered Russell a mentor, not to mention a good friend. DeCoste has a shelf full of his books, many of them gracious gifts from Russell. “Anytime I attended senior Wildcats games at Memorial Park, I always looked for him and often sat with him to watch the game, soaking in his vast knowledge of sports,” DeCoste said. “Very often, I would be only one of a group doing the same thing.” DeCoste said the Valley sports scene has always been better for Russell’s presence. Before and particularly since his retirement, Russell has written numerous books that chronicled the world of local sports in “a unique and invaluable way.” “For one, I’m glad he has, in that his knowledge and insight will live on through his words long after he is gone from this earth,” DeCoste said. DeCoste hasn’t seen as much of Russell lately, but pre-COVID, he often used to see him at Acadia hockey games. “I always looked forward to joining him as part of a ‘hot stove’ discussion group on the concourse between periods,” DeCoste said.