In Memoriam: Russell Epker

Russell Epker, co-founder and retired managing director of Berkshire Partners, passed away last Tuesday from complications from cancer. He was 61.

He is survived by his wife Anne Percival; his three children Kristen, Mark and Allison; four grandchildren, his mother and two brothers.

Epker was one of the five former Thomas H. Lee & Co. investors who formed Boston-based Berkshire in 1986. He retired from fulltime duties in June 2000, but continued to serve as an advisory director.

Prior to Thomas H. Lee, Epker had operating experience at Ford Motor Co., Xerox Corp. and Tyco International Ltd.

His most lasting contribution, however, came from his work with Boston’s nonprofit community. He served as chairman of the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston; vice chairman of United Way of Massachusetts Bay; and co-chair of the Friends of Camp Committee of Camp Hale (United South End Settlement House). He also served on the corporate board of governors at the University of Michigan Business School.

Russ was student government president before earning his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan in 1964 and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1967. His funeral was held last Thursday in Wellesley, Mass., with a memorial service and reception held the following day at the Memorial Church of Harvard University.

Please send any donations in his memory to: The Boys & Girls Club of Boston, Attn: Jill Goldweitz, 50 Congress Street, Suite 730, Boston, Mass. 02109-4002.