Cover photo for John Russell Parsons, Ph.D  II's Obituary
1948 John 2019

John Russell Parsons, Ph.D II

February 10, 1948 — March 27, 2019

J. Russell Parsons II, 71, of Perth Amboy, NJ, and Nassawadox, VA, died on March 27, 2019. Education and Sailing were central themes in his life. He liked to say he loved school so much that he never left. After graduating from Cape Charles High School and earning degrees from NC State University (B.S. Physics '70) and UVA (M.S. Material Science '72) he spent a year as a Presidential Intern ('72) at the National Bureau of Standards and the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC. In 1977 he earned a Ph.D. in Material Science/Biomaterials at University of Pennsylvania. Later that year he joined the faculty of the Department of Surgery, section of Orthopaedics at what was then the College of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Medical School. His research interests centered on materials technology for skeletal and soft tissue implants, spinal biomechanics, fracture mechanics, bone healing/remodeling, bone graft substitutes, soft and hard tissue allografts and cartilage mechanics. He has been granted ten patents related to his research efforts.

During his thirty-one years at UMDNJ Russ taught medical students, orthopedic residents, graduate students at Rutgers and NJIT and was primary graduate advisor for thirty-seven masters and Ph.D. candidates. He held many titles during his career including Professor of Orthopaedics, Co-Director of the NJ Center for Biomaterials, Co-Director, Graduate Biomedical Engineering Rutgers University/UMDNJ, Board of Managers, NJ Center for Biomaterials and Director, Laboratories for Orthopaedic Research UMDNJ.

Russ was elected President of the Society for Biomaterials (USA) in 2000-2001. In 2004 he was named a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE) and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (FAIMBE). Russ served on numerous Scientific Advisory and Editorial Boards and for many years was Assistant Editor of Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

Russ loved to race sailboats. Many summers he competed in more than sixty races with his wife Janey and loyal crew. He served on the Raritan Yacht Club Board of Governors (1984-1987) and was Executive Vice President of the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF)-Middle Atlantic Region (1986-1994), serving as President (1995-1997).

Russ' parents Samuel Willis Parsons and Frances Dickinson Parsons predeceased him. He leaves behind his wife, Janey Nottingham Parsons, sister, Elizabeth Parsons Noble (Steve) and nephew Stephen Randolph Noble of Salisbury, North Carolina, niece Elizabeth Hunt Noble Randall (Todd) of Buford, Georgia and many great nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be conducted Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 11:00 AM, at Cape Charles Cemetery with Reverend Linda Lowe officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make a generous donation to your favorite college or university.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements made by Wilkins-Doughty Funeral Home in Cape Charles, Virginia.

Graveside Service

Cape Charles Cemetery
  • Email Details
  • 3229 Old Cape Charles Road
    Cape Charles, VA 23310
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