On Sunday, November 17, 2019, we lost our brother, partner, friend, and teammate Russ Hall. Mercifully, his heart stopped quickly at the end of a day well lived in a place he loved. Not only was he a giant in the business and a perennial top producer, Russ shared everything he had, and his heart worked overtime every day. Everything has its limits, and Russ gave of himself until it just gave out. We simply weren’t ready… Ten days earlier, when we asked our team what they were grateful for, Russ replied with this:
“Am blessed to walk in to an office everyday where you consider all 50 people among your best friends. Personally so thankful for my faith, survival of my little family, Health and all the wonderful blessings we hopefully never take for granted.”
When we ventured into his office, we found his essence in the objects he kept including notes, photos, and all things faith and St. Louis Cardinals. What jumped out were the Dove chocolate wrapper reading, “Be with people who make you laugh” and his devotional prayer book, which fueled this spiritual man. Russ’ trophy shelf was awash with honors. Of note, he was the first recipient of the “Peter H. Douglas Heart and Soul Award” for the person at Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR who embodied that spirit and kept it alive in our culture.
This week, we have been showered with kindness from those who knew Russ well or incidentally. Without fail, his last interaction with each of them was precious, and they felt loved and special. May we all live more like Russ. We asked our team to share memories to post here. If you didn’t know him, surely you will after reading these:
“I worked with Russ Hall since 1983, as partners in the last several years. He was a true gentleman, always upbeat, always did the right thing, always made my life better. He showed me clearly how to treat our fellow human beings, which has greatly benefited my life, in and out of business. His consideration of others and “godliness” were always a guiding light for me. Aside from working together, I consider him my best friend, and am wondering how the balance of my life will be without him. I miss him horribly already.” ~ Steve
“Russ was literally the coolest guy In the office. I will miss him terribly. I remember he told me back in the day he had a fro and it made me laugh so hard!! Rest in Heaven Russ <3” ~ DeShanna
“#1 While it’s been said that a generous and giving person “will give you the shirt off their back”, for Russ we need to redefine the phrase as “will give you a bite of the sandwich in his hand”. He quite literally (and laughably for me) would beckon from his office across the hall to offer me anything from a bite of the banana he was eating, to a bite of a sandwich he was halfway through, or even a sip of the coffee in his hand.
#2 Russ adopted the PICOR family as his own family, and it showed. Russ was open-armed to my own children when they would happen to be in the office. Russ would periodically receive a note or card from my oldest daughter, Chloe. Russ treasured these and even had one pinned-up in his office. He would always ask with sincerity me how my family was doing and specifically: “how’s my buddy Chloe”. In some ways I think he felt she was a pseudo-daughter to him.” ~ Brandon
“Russ showed pure love and affection for everything that God created. He saw beauty in people, animals and the earth, and made each person, no matter stranger, or someone he knew, feel very special and important. His nature was sharing and giving, and much, much more. I will truly miss Russ, and am grateful and thankful for the experience of having him in my life. “LOVE U RUSS” ~ Estella
“Russ was there for everyone… on a professional, social and personal level. He spread himself pretty thin, but loved it.” ~ Tom
“My first week at PICOR, Russ and I kept passing in the kitchen. He said, “you are always in here eating” – I laughed embarrassed and started to explain, he stopped me and said “Heather, you can eat all you want as often as you want here at PICOR.” LOL” ~ Heather
“The thing I loved most about Russ was he cared about people. Not just some people, everyone. He listened and was genuinely interested in people’s lives and what mattered to them.” ~ Aaron
“I’m not ready to say Russ ‘was.’ Russ IS an inspiration to live my best life. To love my neighbor as myself. To be in the moment with whomever I am speaking, and to fully focus on them. To prize relationships above things. To laugh, to count my blessings, to share what isn’t mine but what I am stewarding for others. Love you always, Rusto. Barbalooski.” ~ Barbi
“I didn’t know Russ for long, but he welcomed me to the PICOR family with his kind heart. Russ always stopped by my desk throughout the day to grab my hand, look me in the eye, and ask how I was doing. During one of his visits, Russ asked if I wanted his Baggin’s cookie. After taking him up on his offer, he came back later that day with another. I think he went to Baggin’s every day that week just to offer me his cookie. His visits brightened my days, and it is clear he brightened the lives of everyone he knew. I feel honored to have met him.” ~ Karen
“My favorite memory of Russ was just a few days before he passed we were walking together in the Lisa Frank warehouse and my back was hurting pretty bad so I sat down on a pallet full of boxes and Russ sat down right next to me and he knew the pain I was in so he just sat next to me and rubbed my back. He had a way about him to make everyone feel at ease and peaceful. His paternal personality will be missed greatly.” ~ Max
“I’ll forever treasure the 16 years I knew Russ. I’ll miss his random visits to my office just to say hi. His presence reminded me that he was one special human. Rest in peace, my friend.” ~ Rebecca
“Russ made me feel so welcome when I joined PICOR. He would stop by my desk almost every day to say hello, see what I was eating or just give me a fist bump. I only knew him a short time, but I feel blessed to have known and worked with someone so special.” ~ Molly
“Before I remarried, and Russ and I shared the last name “Hall”, he began referring to me as his sister. Then, when we realized we were both born in Illinois (different areas), he said “see, you’re my sister.” I always loved that – along with the hugs, high fives, and fist bumps.” ~ Angie
“27 years ago, Russ recruited me to Grubb and Ellis. I flipped him and recruited him to PICOR. We did well over 100 transactions together over that time. It was awesome to be so productive together but what I will cherish him the most for is the daily doses of love that he showered me with. He will always be a very special person in my life and I will miss him greatly. Love you Russ.” ~ Rob G
We send our love and prayers of comfort to Tyler, Theresa, Jim, Camille, and all who join us in grief. As one of our shareholders said, Russ is in heaven and has already introduced himself to everyone…
The service will be held Saturday, December 7th at 1:00 pm at St. Pius Catholic Church. For those who wish to make donations in Russ’ memory, the family has designated the PICOR Charitable Foundation and the Tucson Wildlife Center.