Russell James 'Jim' Gesell

Gesell, Russell James "Jim" Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and community leader, died on December 21, 2019. Born August 14, 1935, to Freda and Russell M. Gesell, in Saint Paul MN, a city Jim called home his entire life. Jim is survived by his wife, Teddy (Rene Ziegler), children Heidi (John Edgerton), Peter (Liz Flink), Andrew (Sthitie Bom), and Charlie (Kerry Benefield), as well as grandchildren, Ryan, Logan, Madelin, Samuel, James, and August. Jim attended Douglas School, St. Paul Academy, and was a very proud alum of the University of MN (where he met Teddy on the steps of Walter Library). He also graduated from Wm. Mitchell College of Law. To the end of his days he remained a Gopher fan! Jim led BankCherokee (formerly known as Cherokee State Bank) for over 50 years, most recently as Chair of the Board. The Bank's commitment to its customers and to the community are some of Jim's greatest legacies. He was a longtime supporter of Neighborhood House, having served on their Board several times, as well as being an Honorary Board Member. He was a founding member of ORYG Gyro, past Treasurer of the MN Bankers Association, a member of WSP Kiwanis, as well as many other organizations. Jim and Teddy loved to travel, enjoying the beauty of art, new places, great food and music. They loved time spent at their home in Franconia and on the St. Croix. Jim is remembered by those who knew him for his warmth, kindness and sense of humor as well as his generous spirit. A very special thanks to the staff of Sholom Home (Saint Paul) and the Sholom Hospice for their tender care of Jim. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 10:30 am at St. Clement's Church (901 Portland Avenue St Paul). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Neighborhood House, Friends of the St Paul Public Library, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra or Last Hope Inc. (PO Box 114 Farmington MN).