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Thursday, December 7, 2006

Russell Buchanan, World War I veteran, 106



Russell Buchanan saluted the colors during Veterans Day observances at the Statehouse.
(Globe Staff Photo by John Tlumacki)

Russell A. Buchanan of Watertown, who was believed to be one of only two surviving World War I veterans in Massachusetts and who also served in World War II, died yesterday of complications following a stroke, a heart attack, and pneumonia at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. He was 106.

"At 106, Russ was in many ways still serving his country," said Robert Erickson, veterans' service officer for Watertown, yesterday, referring to Mr. Buchanan's recent participation in many veterans' events, his visits to Watertown schools to talk about patriotism, and interviews on national and international media about his service in World War I and World War II.

"The kids gave him a standing O," Erickson said of the school visits.

"Russ was an inspiration to all of us who came after him," Tom Kelley of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services said in a Globe obituary today. "We really look up to the men and women of that generation."

-- Gloria Negri

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