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Longtime Missouri lawmaker James ‘Jay’ Russell Sr. dies

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James 'Jay' Russell Sr

FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) – A former state legislator from the St. Louis County town of Florissant has died.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that James C. “Jay” Russell Sr. died Wednesday after being diagnosed with skin cancer six months ago. He was 87.

Russell was a fixture in Democratic politics, and in Florissant. He was first elected to the Missouri House in 1962 and served through 1980. He was also a longtime Democratic committeeman and proprietor of BJ’s Bar and Restaurant.

Russell was a Marine on leave from Camp Pendleton when he met his wife of 61 years, Delphie, who survives. Other survivors include one son and one daughter, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,