Russell Glenn Geen, professor emeritus of psychology at MU, passed away Friday, June 5, 2020, at home at age 88.

Russell was born May 3, 1932, in Ironwood, Michigan. He attended Gogebic Community College, Michigan State University and seminary at Bexley Hall at Kenyon College, where he earned a divinity degree in 1957.

He met his wife, Barbara, while he was a clergyman at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. They were married in 1960.

Russell returned to graduate school and received his doctorate in psychology in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin. He brought his young family to Columbia later that year to take a position as assistant professor in the psychology department at MU, where he remained active in research and teaching for more than 40 years.

Russell authored and co-authored many scholarly papers and books with both students and colleagues in the areas of social and personality psychology, aggression, and motivation. In 1992, he was honored at MU as a Curators’ Professor of Psychology. From 1977 to 1988, he served as the editor of the Journal of Research in Personality, and from 1991 to 1996, he was editor for the personality section of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

He was most fond of the history of psychology and continued to teach the subject for a number of years after his retirement. In his later years, Russ returned to his first profession as a clergyman at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Fayette.

Russell is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons Thomas and William (Dierdre); and grandsons Sebastian, Christian and Preston.

Services will be private for the family at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Fayette. Donations may be made to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church or the Department of Psychological Sciences Opportunities for Excellence Fund at

Online condolences may be made at

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