Mass of Christian Burial
Obituary of Russell Topping
Niskayuna-Russell L. Topping died on June 20, 2018 one week before his 83 rd birthday. He was born in Troy, N.Y. on June 27, 1935. He was the son of the late Margaret and Lee Topping of Troy. He graduated from La Salle Institute in Troy, Class of 1953. He received a BS in English, Class of 1957 and an MA in Education from Siena College in 1960. He attained an MLS (Library Science) from State University New York, Albany. He taught English at South Colonie Central High School for 32 years and continued classroom substitute teaching and served as a School librarian. He was a member of the U. S. Army Reserves for many years and retired with the rank of Captain.
He shared his passion for books and reading with his many students and friends. His special interest in Science Fiction Literature, which he shared with longtime friend and classmate Jim Purcell, sustained him especially in these last few years of struggle with his health. Russ always looked forward to visits to Saratoga bookstores and luncheons at Wolfert's Roost each month with cherished classmates from LSI, Class of '53.
He enjoyed Martha's Vineyard vacations, including in May this year, where the family has gathered for 20 years.
He was a faithful fan of Siena Basketball in great as well as challenging times. He treasured music especially “To Dream the Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha which he loved to sing. He loved St. Louis Cardinals baseball which he proudly would state he has cheered for since 1946.
Russ quietly and lovingly embraced all his family.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Maureen Wydrakowski Topping; his daughter, Sheila Wagner (Eric); his sons, David A. Topping (Claudia Mills Topping) of Clifton Park; Andrew R. Topping (Michelle Kyzer Topping) of Virginia; and six grandsons, Zachary Anderson of Glenville, Nicholas and Ryan Topping of Clifton Park; Sean Topping of California, Alex Topping of Arizona, and Matthew Topping of Virginia.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday at 9AM at St. Kateri Parish, Rosa Rd., Schenectady. Calling hours will be Sunday from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St. (at McClellan St.), Schenectady. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angel's Cemetery, Colonie.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in memory of Russ, to La Salle Institute, Class of 1953 Scholarship Fund, 174 Williams Road, Troy NY. 12180 or Siena College, Development and External Affairs, 515 Loudon Rd., Loudonville, N.Y. 12211 to benefit Athletic Programs (Siena basketball in particular).