May 9, 1937 — January 19, 2021
Russell Gerns passed away in Pacific Palisades on January 19 at age 83.
Russ was born and raised in Los Angeles and was the son of William and Ireta Gerns. Russ and his wife Nadine were 35-year residents of the Palisades Highlands, which they both loved, and he built several homes in the Highlands. Russ was known and admired as a devoted family man who had a great sense of humor, was always upbeat and kind to everyone.
Russ graduated from LA High School in 1955, attended UCLA where he was active in Phi Gamma Delta and earned an engineering degree in 1960. He was an avid UCLA supporter and taught post graduate business classes at both UCLA and Pepperdine.
Russ was a successful businessman and entrepreneur who always had time to help young people or anyone seeking advice. He started at Hewlett Packard, then cofounded Scientific Data Systems and after it was acquired, cofounded Computer Machinery Corporation (CMC) and managed its European operation for several years. He was then joined Cipher Data Systems in San Diego as a senior executive after which he cofounded Rexon Business Machines, a leading manufacturer of small business computers.
Russ regarded his success in his high-tech career, which spanned three decades, as a function of good timing, working with great people and plain hard work. After his career in high-tech, Russ taught and mentored MBA students at UCLA, put together private investments, funded several start-ups and was instrumental in structuring a purchase of Affinity Insurance, which provides insurance to tribal governments and tribal enterprises.
Russ and Nadine, his beloved wife of 49 years, traveled extensively. Russ loved fishing, skiing, tennis and especially golf at Bel Air Country Club where he was an enthusiastic and popular member.
Russ is survived by his wife, Nadine, son Mathew, daughter Amy, sister Janet, stepsons Blake and Reed Richard, grandchildren Olivia, Ruby, Lily, Reed Jr and Tae, nephew Glenn Chapin and niece Lynn Stone. He will be greatly missed by his many close friends.
Due to the pandemic, a memorial will be held in the future for family and close friends.
The family requests that those who wish to express sympathy or honor the memory of Russ, consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association at act.alz.org/site/Donation2.
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