John V. Russell, 41, Was Consultant, Avid Rider

John V. Russell, 41, son of the late Harvey C. Russell who died in 1998, of Oak Bluffs and Jersey City, N.J., died at his home on May 24. John began summering on the Island 40 years ago with his parents.

He loved the Vineyard above all other places. He spent many summers working at Scrubby Neck horse farm as a teen. His passion for horseback riding enabled him to become co-captain of the equestrian team at Fordham University where he earned his bachelors degree in psychology. He continued riding even through his battle with cancer, which eventually took his life.

John was a kindred spirit with an infectious laugh and an ability to listen with empathy like no other. This combination took him to graduate school where he received a master's degree in human resources and a post-graduate certification in organizational diagnosis.

After seven years at JPMorgan Chase, John started JVR Consulting. John began consulting for the Episcopal church in Manhattan, spearheading their search for a new director of ethnic congregational development. He also served on the board of Harlem Downing, was a member of Sigma Pi Phi (Boule) and volunteered his time at Camp Viva.

Even though John was busy with all his involvements, he would make time to get back to the Island where he enjoyed his favorite pastime of rocking on the front porch, overlooking the waters of Nantucket Sound, entertaining his friends.

John is survived by his mother, Jacqueline Russell of Oak Bluffs; his partner, Rob Condon of New Jersey; his sister, Denise Jones of Texas; his brother, Denny of Falmouth; his niece, Ann; nephew, Harvey, several cousins and many friends who loved him dearly as well. He will be missed.